A global treaty is needed for antibiotic resistance

By Kevin Outterson

Or so we claim in this month’s WHO Bulletin.  Resistance is a global common pool problem requiring simultaneous action on three fronts: access to effective antibiotics (many more deaths from susceptible bacterial infections currently); conservation (protect and extend the most effective drug class in history through rational use and infection prevention); and innovation (new drugs, diagnostics, vaccines and agricultural practices). Providing any one alone is counterproductive over the long term:  access alone will speed resistance; conservation alone denies access and undermines innovation incentives; innovation alone brings more drugs to the market, but without safeguards to prolong their usefulness and to ensure that low income populations have access to these life saving therapies.

See also this Chatham House Members’ Event last Wednesday on how resistance threatens global health security, with audio.

@koutterson

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