Antibiotic resistance doesn’t seem to be discussed much during the current UK election. Its just BREXIT, BREXIT, BREXIT. To try and move the conversation around to a topic which affects every ones lives, is non-political and if not tackled now could mean the end of modern medicine, ANTRUK has sent the following five questions to the main party leaders. We intend to publish their responses here and would encourage all our UK website readers to contact the party candidates in their constituencies and ask the same five questions.
Here’s what has been sent;
Antibiotic resistance, that is where infectious bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, is on the increase and threatens modern medicine. England’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has warned of an ‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’ if we don’t act now. Antibiotic Research UK is the world’s first charity focussing on antibiotics and antibiotic resistance and is seeking Party and candidate’s views on how they intend to tackle this problem over the next five years.
David Cameron, when he was Prime Minister asked Lord Jim O’Neill to chair a review on antimicrobial resistance. The review team published their final report in May 2016. Contained within the report were ten recommendations to help prevent a potential pandemic of 10 million deaths per annum by 2020 at a cost to the world economy of $100 trillion between now and 2050.
Please respond to the following questions which we will be publicised by us to help electors understand your party’s position of the problem.
Controlling the use of antibiotics requires a holistic approach to be taken ranging from controlling the use of antibiotics in agriculture, their use in the community and hospitals to controlling their manufacture, sale and disposal. What is your policy on controlling antibiotic use in all these areas?
The O’Neill Review on AMR after two years deliberations came up with a list of recommendations that need to be enacted if the antibiotic resistance problem was to be effectively tackled. What resource will your party recommend should be provided when you are in government to enact the O’Neill recommendations?
In our view the Third Sector has been given insufficient prominence or funding to tackle the antibiotic resistance crisis. The Third Sector is best placed to deliver on many of the O’Neill recommendations with its not for profit ethos, direct links with the public and as an independent honest broker. How will your party forge stronger links between government and the Third Sector and what funds will you provide?
There is a lack of understanding by the public about antibiotic resistance – many think it is them becoming resistant to antibiotics and not the bugs. Our view is that using Scandinavia as a model,antibiotic education should start in primary school. Does your party support the inclusion of antibiotic education in the primary school curriculum and will you provide the necessary funds?
There is a paucity of information about the morbidity and mortality of antibiotic resistance in the UK. There is no compulsion to report most antibiotic resistant infections or a requirement to identify such infections using the latest molecular methods. Will your party create a national Antibiotic Resistance Register where all resistance cases are logged?
Please send your responses to;
Professor Colin Garner, Chief Executive
If you would be interested in getting in touch with your local MP and sharing these questions with them, you can find out how to do so here.