Kodjo Soroh Writes: World antimicrobial awareness week

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Dr. Kodjo Soroh
Dr. Kodjo Soroh

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) is celebrated from 18-24 November every year.

Unfortunately, over the past two years, COVID-19 has threatened the progress made against Antimicrobial Resistance, making AMR an even more prominent threat.

The pandemic has shown us that it is essential, now more than ever, to find creative solutions to tackle the spread of infectious diseases and AMR.

That’s why this year, at Pfizer we encourage all individuals, societies, industries, governments, and NGOs to come together to Stop Superbugsand Help Protect Tomorrow.

AMR is widely recognized as one of the biggest threats to global health today, with the potential of affecting anyone, at any age, in any country.

1.27 million deaths per year are directly attributable and almost 5 million deaths per year are associated with AMR. Without action by governments, industries, and societies, AMR is expected to cause 10 million deaths globally each year by 2050.

According to the results of the most comprehensive study yet of the extent of AMR globally, published in The Lancet in January 2022 (The Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance report), death rates caused directly by AMR are highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

AMR is one of the greatest global health risks we face today, tackling the global problem of antimicrobial resistance requires that people around the world understand what the problem is and what is causing it.

The cost of AMR to the economy is significant. In addition to death and disability, prolonged illness lead to increased healthcare costs and result in lower productivity. As a result, global GDP reductions are estimated at 1% – 3% by 2030, further threatening economic development. 1

At Pfizer we believe that no one should face barriers to care based on their age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or geographical location. We are committed to a fairer future and are taking every action to drive more equitable access to high-quality, safe, and effective healthcare solutions.

Pfizer’s first-of-its-kind initiative An Accord for a Healthier World pledges to make on-patent medicines and vaccines available on a not-for-profit basis in 45 lower-income countries and has the potential to improve the health of 1.2 billion people impacted by deadly infectious diseases like COVID-19 and pneumonia, as well as certain cancers and rare and inflammatory diseases.

The market potential for new antibiotics is limited, due to the steep costs of antimicrobial development, high risk of failure, long lead times, and growing awareness of the need to limit their use. Despite the challenging antimicrobial R&D landscape Pfizer continues to evaluate opportunities and partnerships to expand our pipeline.

Pfizer is one of the few large research-based pharmaceutical companies still active in research and development (R&D) for anti-infectives and works with partners to close critical prevention and treatment gaps in infectious diseases around the globe.

Pfizer is actively engaged and committed to a multi-faceted and evidence-based approach to stewardship, to ensure the responsible use of anti-infectives across local healthcare settings.

These efforts include health system strengthening, surveillance, and infection prevention, including vaccination, policy advocacy, innovative tools, diagnostics, education, research, health equity, and patient engagement.

Pfizer has one of the world’s largest AMR surveillance website platforms – the ATLAS database, that provides physicians and the global health community with open access to data on bacterial sensitivity to various antibiotics and emerging resistance patterns in 83 countries, including those with less specialized health networks.

Governments, industries, and the public health communities must work together to take action and support measures to enable continued innovation in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines and help curb the spread of AMR.

At Pfizer, we strive to maximize progress and overcome the unique scientific, economic, public health, and environmental challenges presented by AMR by leveraging our expertise and capabilities to share solutions with our healthcare partners around the world.

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