MSF responds to Lord O'Neill's recommendations on how to defeat drug resistance and superbugs

Responding to Lord Jim O’Neill’s global review on anti-microbial resistance and his recommendations for how the world can prevent the rise of drug-resistant infections, Dr Annette Heinzelmann, Medical Director at Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says:

“Drug-resistant infections are a looming threat to the work MSF does—they’re everywhere: we see them in war-wounded patients we treat in Jordan and in newborns in Niger. Our medical staff increasingly see people who with infections that can only be treated by one of the last lines of antibiotics.

“It is vital topic can no longer be ignored and it must be put high on the world’s political agenda. All countries need to realise the gravity of the issue and take action.”

Dr Grania Brigden, TB and AMR Advisor, Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says:

“The O'Neill report confirms what MSF has long voiced. The pharmaceutical industry’s system for researching and developing medicines is not always delivering the drugs, vaccines and diagnostics needed. When they are developed, they are often unaffordable or not suitable for the people who need them most.  

“This report is an important first step in addressing this broad market failure, it does not go far enough. The O’Neill report proposes considerable new funding to overcome the failures of pharmaceutical Research and Development but the proposals do not necessarily ensure access to either existing tools or emerging new products; instead, in some cases, the report’s solution is simply to subsidise higher prices rather than trying to overcome them.

“Governments and WHO must take a more central role in setting priorities and making decisions about Research and Development. It is important that the needs of developing countries and particularly neglected people aren’t left behind; they must be considered from the outset when priorities are set, products are designed, access and conservation strategies are drawn up.  The most vulnerable people must not be short-changed or forgotten.”



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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