Antibiotic resistance threatens to undermine the effectiveness of modern medicine. More and more strains of bacteria are resistant to an ever-rising number of antibiotics, with no new antibiotics on the horizon to treat some of the most serious infections. The change is global and accelerating. Millions of people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year; hundreds of thousands lose their lives. The toll will increase.
Antibiotic use causes resistance to emerge, and their misuse and overuse accelerates its spread. Without a radical change in antibiotic usage, antibiotic resistance will become one of the greatest threats to humankind, to security and to the global economy.
The lack of effective antibiotics against resistant infections has the potential to affect us all – doctors and patients, farmers and consumers, humans and animals – without regard for international borders.
Efforts to slow the march towards this dire future have largely failed.
The Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC), comprising civil society organisations from all sectors on six continents, has therefore been formed to demand policy shifts and action.