Antibiotics are gradually becoming less effective, as bacteria develop resistance. It is a global phenomenon, and if left unchecked, could lead to as many as 10 million deaths each year by 2050. In January, the Access to Medicine Foundation will present the first Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark at the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. It will show where pharmaceutical companies are taking action against AMR, which ones are leading, and where faster progress is needed. The Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark is independently funded by the UK and the Dutch governments.
Slowing AMR requires specific actions from many different players – not least national governments, NGOs, the agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors. The role for the pharmaceutical industry centres on antimicrobial R&D, on how antibiotics are made and produced, and on how they are brought to the market. Increasing access to antimicrobials remains a top public health priority, as many more people die from lack of access to these medicines than die from resistance. Yet without global efforts to control access, known as stewardship, resistance will continue to emerge and spread.
The AMR Benchmark will form the first measure for how 30 pharmaceutical companies, a cross-section of the industry, are taking action in these areas. It analyses companies’ portfolios of marketed products, assessing the appropriate balance between access and stewardship. It has also mapped companies’ antimicrobial pipelines, including for pathogens identified by WHO and CDC as posing a major AMR risk.
The Benchmark will report its findings in three areas: Research & Development, Manufacturing & Production and Appropriate Access & Stewardship. The full analysis of each company’s performance is provided in the detailed Report Cards, including analyses of antimicrobial portfolios and pipelines.
Launch at the WEF
The Benchmark will be launched in a WEF Press Conference, where the leading companies and key findings will be presented by Jayasree K. Iyer, the Foundation’s Executive Director. On Wednesday 24 January, Jayasree Iyer will deliver the opening remarks at a WEF private session titled ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling the gap in R&D’. The next day, she will speak in a WEF panel discussion titled ‘A New Era for Global Health’.
After the Benchmark’s launch, the Foundation’s Executive Director, Jayasree K. Iyer, will present at the 2018 Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) in Bangkok, Thailand. Each PMAC conference focuses on a public health issue of global significance. The theme in 2018 is ‘Making the world safe from the threats of emerging infectious diseases.’ The Foundation will also discuss the Benchmark at a series of events and meetings in India between 14 and 16 March.
Methodology based on expert consensus
You can find the full details to the Benchmark’s methodology here. It was developed in 2017 by the Foundation’s research team, in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders and experts working in AMR: including from the UK and Dutch governments, World Health Organization, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Chatham House, Pew Charitable Trusts, the UK government’s Review on AMR, the AMR Industry Alliance, the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator (CARB-X), the DRIVE-AB project, the German Union for Antibiotics Research and Development, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, as well as pharmaceutical companies and investors. Strategic guidance was provided by an Expert Committee of specialists in AMR. The resulting methodology will be used to evaluate pharma companies in three areas: Research & Development; Manufacturing & Production; and Appropriate Access & Stewardship.