A new report from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) makes a number of recommendations to reduce the mortality burden related to poor antibiotic access in low- and middle-income countries.
CDDEP researchers conducted stakeholder interviews in Uganda, India, and Germany, and literature reviews, to identify key access barriers to antibiotics in low-, middle-, and high-income countries.
Substandard antimicrobial training and numbers of healthcare professionals, weak drug supply chains, poor quality and counterfeit medicines, and high out-of-pocket medical costs are among the key issues identified by the Access Barriers to Antibiotics report.
"Our research shows that of 21 new antibiotics entering markets between 1999 and 2014, less than five were registered in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa," said Dr Ramanan Laxminarayan, CDDEP director and co-author of the report.
The report makes several recommendations proposing action on antibiotic and diagnostics research and development, strengthening regulatory capacities, encouraging the development and diversification of quality local manufacturing, exploring innovative funding to reduce out-of-pockets payments, raising awareness, and improving clinical treatment guidelines.
The majority of annual global 5.7 million antibiotic-treatable deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries where the mortality burden from treatable bacterial infections far exceeds the estimated annual 700,000 deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections, the report notes.