The Government has launched two new major national documents on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019–2024. The UK’s five-year national action plan and Contained and controlled: The UK’s 20-year vision on antimicrobial resistance were developed across the Government, its agencies, and administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with support from a range of stakeholders.
The five-year plan lays out three key ways in which the Government will take action against AMR both in the UK and beyond: reducing the need for antimicrobials by lowering the burden of infection in humans and animals; optimising antimicrobial use in humans and animals through better stewardship; and investing in research and development of new antibiotics, diagnostics, and vaccines.
Key target actions in the five-year plan include a 15% decrease in human antibiotic use by 2024; reducing the incidence of a specified set of drug-resistant infections by 10% by 2024; continuing work to halve health care associated Gram-negative blood stream infections by 2024; adding Carbapenem-resistant Gram-negative infections to the list of notifiable diseases in existing laboratory reporting systems; being able to report on the percentage of prescriptions supported by a diagnostic test or decision support tool by 2024; and working through UK Aid to help reduce the global burden of drug-resistant infections, in line with agreed global targets on key diseases, including TB.
To encourage development of new antibiotics, the plan says the Government will test a new payment model that will reimburse pharmaceutical companies based on how valuable their drugs are to the NHS, rather than on the quantity of antibiotics sold.
The 20-year plan sets out the UK’s vision of a world in which AMR is effectively contained, controlled, and mitigated by 2040.