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O'Neill report on antimicrobial resistance: funding for antimicrobial specialists should be improved
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacy, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels 1040, Belgium; richard.price{at}eahp.eu

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A landmark report into the global problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has delivered wide ranging advice to international governments and agencies, including the need to improve funding for AMR specialities, such as those within the medical, nursing and pharmacy fields.

The recommendation comes within the long-awaited O’Neill report which was commissioned in 2014 by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the Wellcome Trust and published on 19 May 2016. Economist Jim O’Neill led the compilation of the report.

10 headline recommendations are selected for inclusion in the report’s Executive Summary, of which the 7th is ‘Improve the numbers, pay and recognition of people working in infectious disease.’

Explaining the rationale for the recommendation, the report states: ‘focusing on AMR-related specialties is often less rewarding financially and in terms of prestige than other areas of science and medicine. To change this we need an urgent rethink and improved funding to improve career paths and rewards in these fields.’

Other recommendations in the report include:

  • A ‘massive’ global public awareness campaign

  • The report suggests this should be in the order of up to 100 m USD a year.

  • Improving hygiene at a global level to prevent the spread of infection

  • This should include expanding access to clean water and sanitation in parts of the world where this cannot be taken for granted.

  • Reducing unnecessary use of antimicrobials in agriculture

  • Agricultural practice in the USA is picked out for criticism. Improvement can be achieved by the use of targets, milestones, legal restrictions and greater transparency to consumers about antibiotic use in their meat.

  • Improved global surveillance

  • The WHO is suggested as best placed to give oversight to such improvement and coordination

  • Rapid diagnostics to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics

  • The report suggests a Global Innovation Fund for AMR to support such technological development.

  • Development …

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