Experts call for global antimicrobial conservation fund to stem overuse of antibiotics

September 28, 2016

The fund would support antimicrobial stewardship efforts in low- and middle- income countries

CDDEP Director Ramanan Laxminarayan and other experts in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) make the case for a Global Antimicrobial Conservation Fund, in an International Journal of Infectious Diseases editorial. The fund would support antimicrobial stewardship programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which include the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), currently driving consumption in both animal and human sectors.

The developing world is where 90 percent of the estimated 10 million deaths related to antimicrobial resistance per year will occur by 2050. These are also the countries most in need of improved access to antimicrobials and the least able to finance conservation efforts because of limited resources and weak health systems. Without external financial aid, many LMICs are unlikely to put in place public health interventions on par with high-income countries to control AMR.

The conservation fund would provide transitional financial and technical support to build capacities and programs in the poorest countries, with an eventual handoff to domestic financing. The fund would support interventions in the three areas highlighted in the U.K. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (the “O’Neill report”): public awareness campaigns, building human resources, and infection prevention interventions.

Importantly, for those wealthier countries already spending considerably on AMR, contributing to such a global conservation fund would protect their domestic investments—one of the most cost-effective ways of mitigating risk posed by the transnational migration of resistant microbes.

According to Laxminarayan, “Preventing antimicrobial resistance is dependent on managing common resources. Particularly in the developing world, interventions are difficult to implement because of a lack of resources, but are necessary to improve access to antibiotics and prevent infections from occurring. A global conservation fund would go a long way toward enabling nations to limit antimicrobial resistant infections.”

The editorial in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases is available here:


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The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) produces independent, multidisciplinary research to advance the health and wellbeing of human populations around the world. CDDEP projects are global in scope, spanning Africa, Asia, and North America and include scientific studies and policy engagement. The CDDEP team is experienced in addressing country-specific and regional issues, as well as the local and global aspects of global challenges, such as antibiotic resistance and pandemic influenza. CDDEP research is notable for innovative approaches to design and analysis, which are shared widely through publications, presentations and web-based programs. CDDEP has offices in Washington, D.C. and New Delhi and relies on a distinguished team of scientists, public health experts and economists.

Commentary authors: Marc Mendelson, Osman A. Dar, Steven J. Hoffman, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Mirfin M. Mpundu, John-Arne Røttingen


28 Sep 2016