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Antibiotic Resistance May Cause 10 Million Deaths Annually by 2050

Medical Experts Warn: Antibiotic Resistance May Cause 10 Million Deaths Annually by 2050



Medical Experts Warn: Antibiotic Resistance May Cause 10 Million Deaths Annually by 2050

January 18th News – According to experts’ predictions, antibiotic resistance could lead to as many as 10 million deaths annually by the year 2050.

This alarming forecast stems from the continuous evolution of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, rendering drugs ineffective. The phenomenon has garnered global attention as scientific progress struggles to keep pace with the rapid evolution of these microbes.

During the World Economic Forum on Antibiotic Resistance held in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, medical experts shared this prediction. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, antibiotic resistance resulted in nearly 1.3 million direct deaths annually and an additional 5 million indirect deaths.

More concerning is the substantial economic cost that countries worldwide will incur due to this issue. Taking into account factors such as healthcare costs and productivity losses, the economic damage from antibiotic resistance could reach $1 trillion or more by 2050, approximately 1% of the global GDP.

Shyam Bishen, a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum and Director of the Health and Medical Center, emphasized during the conference, “This is a number starting with a ‘T’ (Trillion).”

The WHO has explicitly stated that antibiotic resistance is one of the top ten public health threats facing humanity. In the special discussion on Tuesday, this increasingly serious issue garnered widespread attention.

Bishen underscored that the annual deaths due to antibiotic resistance have surpassed the combined toll of HIV/AIDS and malaria. Indeed, globally, it has become the third leading cause of death, following only COVID-19 and tuberculosis, with the potential to rapidly climb into the top ten global causes of death.

Bishen also admitted that the current investment in research and development is far insufficient, making it challenging to discover and produce alternative drugs. Simultaneously, efforts in prevention and treatment urgently need strengthening.

In a statement in November 2023, the WHO warned that the clinical development pipeline for new antimicrobial agents is nearing depletion. In its latest annual review, the organization found only 27 new antibiotics in clinical development, with just six recognized as innovative drugs. Additionally, a severe shortage of approved antibiotics, including a lack of high-quality generic drugs, has become a shared problem across countries with varying income levels.

The complexity of this issue makes it challenging for even professionals to fully comprehend, let alone the general public. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, expressed during Tuesday’s panel discussion, “For laypeople, labeling antibiotic resistance as the third leading cause of death may come as a surprise.”

Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, referred to antibiotic resistance (AMR) as a “disastrous brand promotion.” He pointed out that there is a lack of understanding among the public and even within the global health community, leading to disagreements and misunderstandings.

Sands further explained that the term is confusing because people are uncertain whether it only applies to antibiotics or other drugs (which it does) and what antibiotics should be used for (treating bacterial infections, not viral infections).

He believes that to convey relevant information more clearly to the public, there is an urgent need to find more easily understandable terms to describe this issue.

Medical Experts Warn: Antibiotic Resistance May Cause 10 Million Deaths Annually by 2050

Medical Experts Warn: Antibiotic Resistance May Cause 10 Million Deaths Annually by 2050

(source:internet, reference only)


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