Britain has urged the group of seven largest industrialised (G7) countries to hasten action against the antibiotics-resistant bacteria, which is also being called the nightmare bacteria or superbug. Concern over the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) grew globally after the first case of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was found in a United States-based woman.
Britain Prime Minister David Cameron told G7 leaders in Japan on Friday that the countries should tackle the issue by reducing the use of antibiotics and focusing on rewarding the pharma companies, which develop medicines to fight the superbugs, Reuters reported.
Cameron was quoted by Reuters as saying that the leading countries need to take the initiative. "In too many cases antibiotics have stopped working. That means people are dying of simple infections or conditions like TB (tuberculosis), tetanus, sepsis, infections that should not mean a death sentence," the Britain PM said. He added that if no concrete measures are taken to address the issue, AMR would cost the world economy $100 trillion.
The British government, in a review last week, said that a reward of $1-1.5 billion should be given to any drug company that comes up with any successful new antimicrobial medicine in the market.
On Thursday, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that "nightmare bacteria," or superbug, showed resistance to all the antibiotics and could pose a serious danger. "We risk being in a post-antibiotic world," Thomas Frieden, director, CDC, had said. He added that the infection in the U.S. woman could not be even controlled by the antibiotic, coliston, which is used to treat severe bacterial infections.
Freiden had earlier cautioned that there is a likelihood of us seeing more such antibiotics-resistant bacteria in future. "The medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. It is the end of road unless we act urgently," Frieden said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has already sounded alarm on the dreaded antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and urged the nations to invest in research and development activities for bringing new medicines in the market. The WHO held a meeting of 12 countries in Tokyo to address the concern of AMR in April.
"Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health today. Having effective antimicrobials is also critical to the social and economic development of nations. We have a limited window of opportunity to take action and avoid a post-antibiotic era," Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, had said.