In a historic meeting this month, the United Nation’s General Assembly declared a commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by developing a strategy to prevent infections, protect existing drugs through stewardship, expand surveillance, and encourage the research and development of much-needed new antimicrobials, diagnostics and vaccines—adopting many of IDSA’s key recommendations.
The meeting marked only the fourth time in the UN’s history that the body addressed a health issue, signaling that AMR has reached a level of significant concern worldwide. IDSA Vice President Paul Auwaerter, MD, MBA, FIDSA, and Treasurer Helen Boucher, MD, FIDSA, were among the world leaders in attendance.
The meeting is an essential step towards galvanizing worldwide leadership and collaboration on the development and implementation of national and global action plans to address this grave global public health crisis. With the participation of IDSA leaders, the United Nations recognized the particular threat of increasing resistance to antimicrobial drugs, and issued a call for the mobilization of investments for research and development on new antimicrobial medicines, diagnostics, and vaccines. The inclusion of a call for innovative financing and investment mechanisms that ensure a public return on investment, resources for strengthened infrastructures to monitor and manage antibiotic use and resistance patterns, and educational and awareness campaigns for the public and all health care professionals to ensure access to and the optimal use of antimicrobial medicines, are an indication that this first step will be followed by many more initiatives.
IDSA was one of the first voices to call for a comprehensive response to antimicrobial resistance over a decade ago. Prior to the General Assembly meeting, IDSA was among a select group invited to present to the UN to help shape the organization’s consideration of this important issue. IDSA’s recommendations included calling upon all of the member nations to commit to a robust response to AMR including:
- antimicrobial stewardship;
- incentives for research and development of new antibiotics and diagnostic tests;
- infection prevention and control;
- surveillance and data collection;
- research to better understand resistance and the impact of our interventions; and
- investment in the infectious diseases, health care and public health workforce.
In advance of the UN meeting, IDSA circulated a public petition in support of coordinated global action to address AMR, which was signed by more than 2,000 people across the world.
On the eve of the General Assembly, IDSA co-hosted along with the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) a Forum on Sustainable Access to Effective Antibiotics. The event brought together an international group of experts to discuss stewardship, conservation, innovation and global accountability and governance.
IDSA will remain a strong partner with global health leaders to ensure initial and continued progress on the critical steps outlined in the declaration.
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