19 Sep 2013 – UK Government publish strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance between 2013 and 2018

On the 10th September, the UK government published its 5 year antimicrobial strategy document “UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018”, which stated that there are few public health issues of greater importance than antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in terms of impact on society. The strategy document follows on the heels of the report by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, who in March 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 her report Dame Sally noted 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”.

All of the recommendations on antimicrobial resistance made in the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report have been accepted and acted on, including ongoing work to add antimicrobial resistance to the Government’s long-term risk register, the National Security Risk Assessment.

The UK Government also moved quickly to announce that the Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology had agreed to hold an enquiry into antimicrobial resistance and that it was already seeking written submissions.

Dr Bill Love, CEO of Destiny Pharma said “Following on so soon from the
report by the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, the publication
of the “UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018″
document by the Department of Health and DEFRA and the review by the
Commons Select Committee for Science and Technology demonstrates just
how seriously the UK government is taking the threat of antimicrobial
resistance and I believe that this will result in positive public:private
partnerships seeking to address the threat posed by antimicrobial resistance”

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