When Lord O’Neill published his report into ‘Tackling drug-resistant infections globally’, he claimed one of the first priorities was a global public awareness campaign – including children and young people – and educating them about the problem of drug resistance. And building awareness is the first step in addressing the public’s behaviour and it seems there is much work to be done in that area. Some research* to explore a consumer perspective on antimicrobial resistance completed in June 2015 revealed that the issue is still widely misunderstood. Addressing such misunderstanding and enabling people to make informed choices about using antibiotics is a crucial part of change, and communication and the language used needs to be more effective to ensure that everyone understands they can play a role in tackling drug resistance.
Another of the main challenges is addressing the pipeline of supplying new antibiotics. Again, O’Neill set out proposals to make antibiotics R&D more sustainable but it requires global political leadership to ensure such interventions work. Developing a new class of antibiotic is only the start, it needs around 50 to 300 hospitals to be enrolled to trialling such drugs. The Wellcome Trust published a report in October 2016 on how a clinical trial network could help in this process
Lord O’Neill review on antimicrobial resistance
Securing new drugs for future generations . The pipeline of antibiotics
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper on trends in antimicrobial use
Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals
Wellcome research into consumer atititudes towards AMR
Exploring the consumer perspective on antimicrobial resistance