The Government is committed to the implementation of Lord O’Neill’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which was published in May this year, drawing widespread responses from the farming and veterinary sectors.
Now, following four months consideration of the 84-page report, the Government has published its own 33-page statement of what needs to be done to translate the review into action.
In brief, the view from Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, is that the threat of drug resistance is “very real” and it is in all of our interests to tackle it.
“It is now for all of us to do our bit to implement his report,” they added, a commitment which includes setting targets for antibiotic usage across the livestock sectors and introducing tougher regulation on veterinary medicines.
As part of the implementation process, Defra is set to work with individual sectors to ensure appropriate specific reduction targets are agreed, with the deadline for this given as 2017.
“The UK Government is determined to meet the (AMR) challenge,” said Ministers Hunt and Leadsom. “We are already investing £265m through the Fleming Fund for improving laboratory capacity and international surveillance systems and we are using a further £50 million to kick start a global AMR innovation fund. Furthermore, we are funding the development of ground-breaking diagnostic tools and will explore how we can make full use of diagnostics to drive appropriate prescribing in the NHS.
“We will lead on the implementation of the recommendations Lord O’Neill has made. In particular, we strongly support the Review’s recommendation to use global financing systems to reinvigorate both early-stage research, and development of new drugs. We will work through the United Nations and other international fora to support action on AMR.
“At home we will continue to drive forward our UK AMR Strategy, setting new ambitions to reduce infections and prescribing, both for animals and humans, recognising they are fundamentally linked.”