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Joint research will fight resistance 'on all fronts'

The new "war cabinet" strategy, led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) will aim to fight antimicrobial resistance "on all fronts," says the MRC chief executive.

Professor Sir John Savill, said:

Researchers have been waging a war on AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) for decades but up until now we've had no war cabinet to co-ordinate research on all fronts.

This is about tackling the problem at every level and in every environment - from labs to livestock, from finding new diagnostic tools to educating professionals and the public.

One hundred years ago 25% of all deaths were due to bacterial infection. We cannot return to those days.

– Professor Sir John Savill

'War cabinet' opens to fight antibiotic resistance

A declaration of "war" against superbugs has been issued today, after new science minister Greg Clark announced that all seven UK research councils were joining forces to tackle antibiotic resistance.

Mr Clark, who replaced David Willetts in the cabinet reshuffle, said: "This will help to drive forward important advances in the fight against antimicrobial resistance."

A declaration of war against superbugs has been issued by the government. Credit: PA

He said the announcement will bring together leading cross-industry experts against what is one of today's "greatest scientific problems."

The move follows Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge to put Britain at the forefront of the fight against drug-immune bacteria threatening to send medicine "back to the dark ages".

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Antibiotic resistance is 'around the corner' warns GP

A GP has warned that the prospect of antibiotic resistance is "around the corner" as research struggles to keep up with the pace with growing bacterial resistance.

Sarah Jarvis said that doctors have warning about the overuse of the drugs for years but face"so much pressure" from patients who are determined to get the medication.

She said that action is needed to help develop new classes of the drug, but warned against complacency from patients.

This isn't a situation that is 100 years from now," she said. "This is around the corner."

Medics 'treating antibiotics as cure-all miracle pills'

Antibiotics have for too long been treated as a "bottomless pit of cure-all miracle treatments" a report from MPs has warned.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

Committee chair Andrew Miller has said some doctors are giving out the drugs as a placebo to complaining patients Credit: PA

"Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses and other diseases that are not caused by bacteria and the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics has contributed to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance," said the dossier from the Science and Technology Committee.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

They have also called for the Government to offer financial incentives to ensure that new drugs are developed "before the pipeline of antibiotics runs dry".

'Decisive and urgent' steps needed on antibiotics

David Cameron must take "decisive and urgent action" to tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance, a committee of MPs has warned.

The Prime Minister last week launched a review into the issue, which he said threatened to send medicine "back to the dark ages". He was urged not to wait two years for its outcome before taking steps to stop unnecessary prescription and boost research to find new classes of lifesaving drugs.

MPs outlined plans for a package of measures including better training of doctors, "rigorous" public awareness campaigns, and "cheap, rapid and accurate diagnostic tests".

Doctors urged to prescribe fewer antibiotics

Doctors must stop prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily under measures needed to preserve the power of the life-saving drugs, the Science and Technology Committee of MPS has warned.

The report said that 'decisive and urgent' action was needed on the issue Credit: PA

They called for "decisive and urgent action" from the Government to prevent the spectre of antibiotic resistance, including steps to prevent both doctors and vets from giving out the drugs to people and animals who do not need them.

Andrew Miller MP, who chairs the committee, said they had heard of GPs prescribing antibiotics simply as "dummy" placebos or to "placate patients with distressing symptoms".

He said there was also a suspicion that the drugs were routinely given to health animals on farms, also raising the risk of growing bacterial resistance to the drugs, making them less effective over time.

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Charity warns superbugs risk 'global health crisis'

The world is heading for a "post-antibiotic age" that threatens a "global health crisis" , the head of a leading medical charity has warned.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust said the problem arose from "drug-resistant bacteria, viruses and parasites".

"It threatens not only our ability to treat deadly infections, but almost every aspect of modern medicine: from cancer treatment to Caesarean sections, therapies that save thousands of lives every day rely on antibiotics that could soon be lost, " he warned.

Mr Farrar warned that not enough new drugs are being developed to replace ones that are no longer efffective.

At the same time he welcomed a new initiative, backed by David Cameron, to set up an international panel looking at how best to facilitate the development of new treatments.

Superbugs threaten to 'return medicine to dark ages'

The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs risks sending medicine back into the "dark ages", David Cameron has warned.

The PM emphasised the importance of developing a new generation of drugs. Credit: Reuters

He stressed the importance of investing in a new generation of antibiotics, describing the emergence of superbugs as "a very real and worrying threat" that is "happening right now".

"If we fail we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again," he told The Times.

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