AMR Challenge Calls on World to Intensify Global Fight against Antibiotic Resistance

Sept. 25, 2018

Washington D.C. - September 25, 2018 - The United States announced today, during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York, The AMR Challenge—the most ambitious global initiative to date to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance (AR or AMR). This unprecedented challenge, led by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), charges pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, food animal producers and purchasers, medical professionals, government health officials, and other leaders from around the world to work together to address antibiotic resistance by:

   • Reducing antibiotics and resistance in the environment (e.g. in water and soil);
   • Improving antibiotic use, including ensuring people can access these medicines when they are needed;  
   • Developing new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests;
   • Improving infection prevention and control; and
   • Enhancing data sharing and data collection.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar will announce the challenge tonight at a U.S. event co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the United Nations Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and the CDC Foundation. Secretary Azar will unveil the first commitments from more than 100 organizations intent on building on progress against one of the greatest global public health threats.

“ASM is committed to working with global stakeholders to develop and execute a roadmap for surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance. ASM currently works across countries and sectors to establish bring to scale, and sustainably maintain such systems by focusing on strengthened laboratory capacity and global health security programs in low resourced settings,” said Robin Patel, ASM President-elect who will be representing ASM at the event tonight. “We are excited to be part of this very important initiative,” she added.

“Untreatable infections are the reality for too many families around the world—and in the U.S.” says HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We’ve had some success fighting antibiotic resistance but, if we don’t all act fast together, we will see global progress quickly unravel. Antibiotic resistance isn’t slowing down. Every country and industry has to step up.”

These activities build on U.S. momentum since 2015 to support the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria, including antibiotic use commitments made at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship. Read more about what the U.S. Government is doing to fight AR. 

Antibiotic resistance has been found in all regions of the world. In the U.S. alone, at least 2 million people get resistant infections each year and at least 23,000 die.

“Modern travel of people, animals, and goods means antibiotic resistance can easily spread across borders and continents. Antibiotic resistance in one country means antibiotic resistance in every country,” says Secretary Azar. “Fighting this threat requires a collaborative global approach across sectors to detect, prevent, and respond to these threats when they occur. Every country, regardless of resources, can take steps to slow antibiotic resistance.”

Read the commitments received to date and learn how to make a formal commitment to the AMR Challenge.

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
ASM Communications staff.