Developing new antibiotics is essential to winning the fight against resistant infections, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has said.
The comments come ahead of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November), which aims to improve the awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The event seeks to encourage best practices among the public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further spread of antibiotic resistance.
In 2019, it was estimated that 1.2 million deaths globally, were due to antibiotic-resistant infections. In England, during 2019/20, there were over 90,000 hospital admissions – yet the global pipeline for new antibiotics to address this growing problem has been failing.
Amit Aggarwal, Executive Director, Medical Affairs, said: “Antibiotic resistance is a silent threat to the very foundations of modern medicine. Addressing the challenge will take a global effort and the very important contribution of individual healthcare workers and patients in their use and stewardship of these vital drugs.
“The UK is already playing a leading role in tackling antibiotic resistance through changes to how it incentivises and rewards antibiotic innovation, but it cannot win this fight alone. We must continue to spur global efforts to improve how we use existing antibiotics and prioritise the development of new antimicrobial treatments.”
The ABPI says that governments and pharmaceutical companies must come together to protect existing antimicrobial treatments and collaborate at the global level to develop long-term solutions.
There are some promising new antibiotics on the horizon, including Dynobactin, which investigators say could be effective against resistant bacteria, and GSK3036656, which has shown early bactericidal activity against TB, but much more investment is needed.