Thursday, April 21, 2016

By 2050 antibiotic resistance could claim more lives than Cancer: IMF Panel

Contributed by Siddarth D & Dr. Tamhankar
Last week at the IMF meeting in Washington, UK Chancellor George Osborne stated that 10 million people a year could die across the world by 2050. This was more than the number of people dying due to cancer each year. The Chancellor also warned of the economic cost of resistance which could cut global GDP by 3.5%, a cumulative cost of $100bn (£70bn). Thus, unless global action is taken, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat than cancer currently is.

The panel which is part of the IMF's Annual Spring Meeting is being held in Washington DC and is looking at emerging economic concerns that could arise in the future. WHO representatives would also be attending the meeting to put forward health concerns that could result in economic challenges.

While there is recognition of the health impact of antibiotic resistance, the human costs and economic costs are seldom discussed. Given that pharmaceutical companies, drug manufacturers and the markets play a critical role in shaping healthcare outcomes and policies for antibiotic use, it is critical that bodies like the IMF are aware and act on health concerns due to antibiotic resistance. Without policies and incentives to regulate the drug market, the battle against antibiotic resistance would certainly be impossible to win.  

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