Redx Pharma is today taking part in the launch of the first report commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron to look into the potential impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The AMR Review, chaired by leading economist Jim O’Neill, has found that failure to tackle drug-resistant infections could kill an extra 10 million people a year and cost up to £63.68 trillion by 2050.
Redx CEO Neil Murray is featuring in a panel session at the launch event in London alongside Ted Bianco, the director of Innovation at the Wellcome Trust and Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of GSK.
The stark figures in the O’Neill review are believed to be the first to quantify the potential impact of AMR and will be used to make the case to global leaders that urgent action is needed.
Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill said AMR represents a more certain threat than climate change in the short term.
The report is the first published by the AMR Review, which was set up by July, amid growing concerns about the scale of the problem. It acknowledges that the human impact should be enough to prompt major intervention but says the economic figures illustrate that the issue “transcends health policy”.
Modelling by KPMG and RAND Europe, commissioned by the review, looked at three bacteria – K pneumoniae, E coli and Staphylococcus aureus – out of a group of seven highlighted by the World Health Organisation, as already showing concerning resistance levels. It also examined HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as broader public health issues for which resistance is a concern.
No country is considered immune from the threat but for some regions and nations the outlook is particularly bleak. The world’s most populous countries, India and China, face 2 million and 1 million deaths a year respectively by 2050 and one in every four deaths in Nigeria by then is forecast to be attributable to AMR. Africa as a continent “will suffer greatly”, the report warns.