Ed Whiting gives ANTRUK’s Inaugural Lecture followed by AMR patient talks, description of research programmes and Call to Action

Colin Garner Uncategorised

Ed Whiting, Director of Policy and Chief of Staff at the Wellcome Trust gave our First Inaugural Lecture (see Ed’s talk here) on 24 October 2016 in the Macmillan Room, Portcullis House, Westminster to an invited audience consisting of MPs, members of the House of the Lords, ANTRUK Members and the general public. The event was a great success with many complementary remarks from attendees.

Ed made some strong statements about the AMR problem including;

  • ’…10 million [deaths by AMR by 2050] is a conservative estimate, it could be up to a magnitude more’
  • ‘We need a different strategies in how we deal with AMR in developing countries than what we use to deal with AMR here in the UK’
  • ‘The O’Neill Review brought the AMR problem to the economists – these are the people that hold the purse strings to world wide health’
  • ‘We need to invest in better surveillance: both in terms of prescribing and infection outbreaks’
  • ‘Antibiotic Research UK needs to raise awareness to the public about the responsible use of antibiotics’
  • ‘Waste reduction from pharma companies is key to prevent antibiotics contaminating water supplies’
  • ‘The role of the third sector is to support research, keep the issue in the spotlight by rallying patient voices and to improve access to antibiotics/diagnostics in resource constrained environments’
  • ‘We have an AMR action plan, the government now needs to implement it’

In the Q and A Ed mentioned the role of ANTRUK as being one of the key players in bringing AMR to the attention of patients and suggested that a key role for the charity was patient advocacy. The charity is actively engaged in finding patients with AMR.

Following Ed’s presentation, two AMR patients David Battie and Emily Morris talked about their experience of AMR and how it had affected their lives. Emily gave a moving account of what having an ESBL infection meant for her and her talk will be available on our Youtube account shortly.

After the patients’ talks Dr David Brown, Chair of ANTRUK’s Science Committepresented about our exciting research programmes to find new Antibiotic Resistance Breakers (see David’s talk here). He described the two contracts the charity has in place, the first of which is with Evotec and the second with LGC.  These screening programmes should be completed by the end of 2016.  The charity now needs to raise £550,000 to fund Stage 2 of its research programmes.

The Inaugural Lecture concluded by the Chief Executive, Professor Colin Garner, describing the background to the formation of the charity and how the charity requires donations to carry out its work. He asked everyone who wanted to tackle AMR to help the charity by volunteering, donating, organising events, getting involved in the charity’s educational programmes and doing anything else they can to assist in the charity’s objectives (see Colin’s talk here).