The drugs don’t work: a global antibiotics crisis | FT Investigation

The World Health Organisation says drug-resistant diseases already kill at least 700,000 people each year. This could be 10m deaths each year by 2050 unless new antibiotics are found. The FT’s Andy Bounds visits the UK government-backed AMR Centre to report on why the world is at risk of falling back into a medical dark age. Read more at

We’ve got use to the fact that if you have a small infection if you have a cut if you need an operation then you can use antibiotics and the infection won’t be serious unless we get a grip on resistance to antibiotics people will die from these things the issue of antimicrobial resistance is author with climate change the world health organization says drug-resistant

Diseases already kill at least 700,000 people each year but there could be 10 million deaths each year by 2050 unless new antibiotics are found there’s a serious lack of new antibiotics under development and the number of drug-resistant bloodstream infections increased by a third from 2013 to 2017 so ndm-1 is a resistance protein that’s able to break down antibiotics

And leave them inactive now originally it came from hospitals in india new delhi specifically and now we’re seeing the spread of that through to countries such as italy where 350 cases have been reported within the last six months and that’s particularly concerning because we’re seeing the spreads largely due to travel and that’s a real problem because it means

That we’re all potentially affected by this issue the uk is leading the hunt for new antibiotics much of the research is taking place at the government-backed amr center in northwest england the antibiotic market is broken there’s been no new drugs for 30 years because the reward to invest and those products just isn’t me our antibiotics are really cheap they’re a


Dollar a strep the value is not there for somebody to bring a new one to market at the moment that’s part of what the mr center is trying to do is bridge that gap between discovery and proving the things in clinic the amr see partly owes its existence to economist jim o’neill his 2016 report for the uk government found the wide scale use of antibiotics in industrial

Farming helped bacteria adapt and thrive o’neil called for a big reduction in the amount fed to animals and he criticized the pharmaceutical industry for cutting back on antibiotics research even small biotechs were starting to give up a lot of people think it’s just an issue about incentive fiying and therefore paying for big pharma you know why should government’s

Do that but what they ignore is the link between the chain all the way down to the earliest stage because the genuine risk takers that are coming through so-called biotech world that are backing these you know very visionary and creative and highly risky startups unless there is a take out for them they’re going to stop to to develop a new medicine takes 10 to

12 years and considerable investment but importantly also takes expertise you need experts continuously working on this and that needs to be sustainable for companies and we know there’s market failure in in for companies researching in antibiotics and we’ve seen companies not being able to carry on researching into antibiotics the uk at least is making progress

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Since 2014 it has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7% and sales were used in food producing animals have dropped by 40% the uk is unveiled a plan to control amr by 2040 but o’neil says policymakers could do more they need to fix the broken antibiotics market by developing what he calls a market entry reward provide something in the vicinity of

A billion dollars for the right producer of a new urgently needed drug a second alternative is you just take it completely away from pharmaceutical companies and have a utility type entity or government about sentences that just do it themselves and just say ok you guys just want to live in the profit world none of your responsibilities anymore after penicillin

Was discovered in 1928 deaths from infections plummeted and operations became routine but sir alexander fleming himself warned about the risk of microorganisms developing resistance 90 years on and the world is on the brink of falling back into the medical dark ages a future where you die from a cut finger sounds like something you might see in a science fiction

Film but the scientists here know they’re in a race against time unless we wake up that dystopian future will become a reality all too soon

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The drugs don't work: a global antibiotics crisis | FT Investigation By Financial Times

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