Media Statement |  21 September, 2016 | Download PDF

AMSTERDAM—In response to the Political Declaration of the United Nations High-level meeting of the General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, which is expected to be adopted today by Member States, Health Action International’s executive director, Tim Reed, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the United Nations finally give antimicrobial resistance (AMR) the attention it deserves. We applaud Member States for agreeing to a common Declaration that calls for a ‘One Health’ approach to address this growing threat.

There is much to like in this Declaration, but we particularly support the recognition that any R&D conducted for products to address AMR must be based on principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency and equity—and that the Declaration calls, in particular, for delinking the cost of AMR R&D (an amount which is not known due to industry secrecy) from the price of diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

We are also pleased that the Declaration calls for action to increase awareness about AMR and appropriate antibiotic use amongst the general public and healthcare professionals. Irrational use is a key contributing factor in AMR.

While the Declaration is very positive overall, we would have preferred to see a call for an end to the promotion and advertising of antibiotics, which contributes to inappropriate use and, in turn, antibiotic resistance. And while we applaud Member States’ commitment to develop and strengthen surveillance, monitoring and regulatory frameworks on the sale and use of antibiotics, we believe that measures which deliberately control and limit the wholesale use of antibiotics should have been included.

Nevertheless, we urge government leaders around the world to take immediate action on AMR based on the principles and commitments put forward in this Declaration.”