Collaboration, investment and action essential to advancing greater overall health
July 9, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) The Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) today released the following statement in response to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations’ announcement of the AMR Action Fund, a global initiative to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The PFID is an initiative of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), launched last month to advance awareness on the growing problem of AMR and to drive action for policy changes that address the threat AMR poses to global health.
“There is a growing sense of urgency to enact policies that address the very real threat of antibiotic resistance. As we are seeing with COVID-19, the people most at risk for severe illness and death from infectious diseases are those living with underlying chronic conditions,” said PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe. “This is why PFCD is taking action to convene the chronic disease community with a broad continuum of stakeholders, and why we are encouraged today by the vital efforts announced by IFPMA. Unlike COVID-19, we are well aware that the challenges of AMR are upon us, and investing in a pipeline of novel antimicrobial treatments is an essential step that we need to take in fighting the looming public health crisis that is AMR.”
Several PFID members echoed support for today’s announcement:
“Investment in new antibiotics is essential for modern medicine and pandemic preparedness,” said Amanda Jezek, Vice President, Public Policy & Government Relations, Infectious Disease Society of America. “This initiative is a very helpful step forward, and now the federal government must strengthen its support for antibiotic research and development as well as stewardship to ensure antibiotics are used appropriately.”
“The AMR Action Fund announced today is great news, but we know it is a stop gap measure,” said Kevin Outterson, Professor, Boston University School of Law & Executive Director CARB-X. “To sustain antibiotic innovation in the face of rising antibiotic resistance, governments must fundamentally change the way we pay for new antibiotics. COVID-19 has taught us the importance of being prepared. The time to act on AMR is now.”
PFID also recently released new public opinion research that underscores the overwhelming support by likely voters across the political spectrum for policy changes to combat AMR.
When presented with some background on AMR, 85 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the issue and 76 percent believe that the development of new antibiotics should be a top or high priority.
More than 50 percent of respondents strongly agree that the government, universities, and drug companies need to all work together to deal with antimicrobial resistance. The strongest predictor of concern for this issue is if a voter has been impacted by COVID-19.
Fifty-nine percent of those who have been seriously impacted by COVID-19 are much more likely to say they are very concerned about AMR, and are also more likely to feel the development of new antibiotics should be a top or high priority (87%) compared to those who haven't been seriously impacted (64%). Levels of concern were notably higher among people of color and older Americans, those most impacted by the current pandemic. Further, supporting a candidate who makes the development of new antibiotics a priority was a likelihood for many, and a strong majority believe investment in antibiotics is too low.