01 Mar 2013 – Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies publishes annual report providing a comprehensive overview of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases

Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England has warned that the risk posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria which have the potential to cause infections which are untreatable pose a “catastrophic” threat to the population in a report published this month. In the report Dame Sally notes that “Antimicrobial resistance is a very real threat. If we have no suitable antibiotics to treat infection, minor surgery and routine operations could become high risk procedures”. The report makes 17 recommendations on how this threat should be addressed. Dame Sally also said that pharmaceutical companies should be given encouragement to develop new drugs. Dr Bill Love, CEO of Destiny Pharma said “Dame Sally’s report and comments are very timely, as it is important that we do not underestimate the threat posed by antibiotic resistance to healthcare as we know it. I am also very encouraged that Dame Sally also highlighted the need for new drugs to be developed to combat this threat and allow the continued delivery of modern medicine”. The Department of Health will soon publish the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy setting out how it will meet the challenge that the Chief Medical Officer has outlined.

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