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Resistance among certain pathogens to antimicrobials is increasing. Yet millions of people cannot access antimicrobials when they need them, despite having curable infections. Both issues must be addressed in tandem. Progress depends on coordinated, disciplined efforts from many different players across the industry, in government and in global health.

During 2017, the Foundation has consulted with stakeholders and experts working in AMR to build consensus on the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the AMR space. The Foundation has examined companies’ responsibilities in a wide range of areas, including appropriate access, stewardship, R&D and production. The emerging consensus has been translated by the Foundation’s research team into the methodology for the first Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark.

The Benchmark will be the first independently developed tool to focus specifically on the pharmaceutical industry’s response to AMR. It will drive change by identifying and sharing effective actions companies can take, and by uncovering how progress can be achieved. The Benchmark will complement existing initiatives monitoring progress on AMR. For example, the Pew Charitable Trusts track antibiotics now being developed; the US Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy publishes data on antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance in a group of countries; the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return initiative measures farming practices related to antibiotics use.

The Methodology for the Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark will be published on the Foundation’s website in the coming weeks. The Benchmark is funded by the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Ten years tracking pharma companies

To develop the Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark, the Access to Medicine Foundation is building on its ten years of experience in tracking pharmaceutical company behaviour when it comes to making medicine accessible by the poor. The Foundation’s first industry benchmark, the Access to Medicine Index, is now in its fifth version. In March 2017, the Foundation published the first Access to Vaccines Index. These Indices both compare and track companies’ performances against stakeholder expectations.

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