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Amidst rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the global pharmaceutical industry has welcomed communiques issued by the G7 health and finance meeting to address one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

The industry has also welcomed the concrete commitment from health and finance ministers if the G7 nations to work together with the industry to ‘strengthen market incentives for antibiotic drug development’.

“Working together is needed to overcome the economic challenges and the industry stands ready and willing to contribute our expertise to make sure that the eventual proposals will achieve the intended results and attract R&D investment,” the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) said in an update.

“To this end, industry welcomes the stated intention to develop principles that assess the value of innovation in, access to and good stewardship of novel antibiotics, with a view to these being applied to new incentive mechanisms,” ABPI added.

While tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is an urgent global health priority, AMR continues annually to be responsible for 700,000 deaths, and the numbers are increasing year on year by four per cent.

By 2050, AMR could cause 10 million deaths a year. “Usage of antibiotics has risen during the coronavirus crisis, and underscores, all the more, the importance of encouraging appropriate use, improving surveillance to track resistant bacteria, and finding lasting solutions to improve the innovation pipeline for new antibiotics by providing incentives for pharmaceutical companies to create new, affordable antibiotics,” ABPI said.

ABPI said: “Like Covid-19, antimicrobial resistance is an existential threat that needs a coordinated, global response, from stewardship and monitoring of existing antibiotics to a workable solution for funding R&D into new ones.

“G7 Health and Finance Ministers have rightly picked up this issue, recognising that a future without effective antibiotics is a threat not only to health but to society and the economy.

“Given the unique challenges and dynamics of the antibiotics market, unique measures are needed to establish an economic environment that will incentivise sufficient long-term investment into antibiotic R&D.

“It is positive that AMR is high on the global agenda, and that governments are committed to working with the pharmaceutical industry to find long-term solutions.”

In 2020 the global pharmaceutical industry launched a $1bn (£707.35m) pharmaceutical industry-led investment fund that aims to bridge the funding gaps facing antibiotic developers and bring 2–4 new antibiotics to the market.

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