Widespread resistance to antibiotics has been described as a "apocalyptic scenario" in a report from the Government's Chief Medical Officer. Dame Sally Davies has called for:
- The development of new drugs
- Better care of the current stock of antibiotics
- Better hygiene measures to prevent infections
- The prescription of fewer antibiotics
- More action to tackle the next generation of healthcare associated infections, including new strains of existing viruses
A report from the Government's Chief Medical Officer has highlighted a "discovery void" in the development of antibiotics since 1987.
It said that pharmaceutical companies need to be incentivised to develop new antibiotics.
We have also been waiting for the next new antibiotic to come along and treat those resistant cases but the pipeline is drying up.
There are no new classes of antibiotics in the pipelines across the world and there are very few in development.
That's because we have not, as a global society, incentivised producing antibiotics. We have market failure and we really need to do something about this.
Dame Sally Davies has said the threat of antibiotic resistance is "as important as climate change for the world."
In a recent report she referred to the situation as a "catastrophic threat", and called for better protection of our current stock of antibiotics.
Dame Sally said we needed better incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs and asked ministers to ensure the issue is placed on the register.
The threat posed by antibiotic resistance should be ranked alongside terrorism on a list of threats to the nation, the Government's Chief Medical Officer said.
The problem is a "ticking time-bomb" and should be put on the Government's National Risk Register - which also includes "catastrophic terrorist attacks" and other civil emergencies, Professor Dame Sally Davies said.
Routine operations such as hip replacements could become deadly in just 20 years time if we lose the ability to fight infection, she said.
Dr Paul Cosford, acting Chief Executive of Health Protection Agency, has told Daybreak that the UK must develop new antibiotics.
He said: "When a bug becomes resistent to an antibiotic, we need to use new antibiotics and there aren't that many antibiotics in the pipeline."
Daybreak's Health Editor, Dr Hilary Jones, has told viewers that the World Health Organisation have said for some years that antibiotics resistance is "amongst the top three threats to man kind in the near future."
Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible, similar to global warming, experts have warned. Daybreak's Nick Dixon reports:
Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible, similar to global warming, experts have warned.Read the full story ›
Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is both alarming and irreversible - similar to global warming.
I urge patients and prescribers to think about the drugs they are requesting and dispensing.
Bacteria are adapting and finding ways to survive the effects of antibiotics, ultimately becoming resistant so they no longer work.
And the more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it.
Antibiotic resistance is a complex global public health issue, the Department Of Health have warned.
Mis-use of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant - the Department Of Health have said.
Some antibiotics aren’t as effective as they used to be because the bacteria they are designed to tackle have become resistant to them.
These important medicines need to be used wisely to maximise the NHS’s ability to treat infections in the future.
The increase in antibiotic resistance is a major concern that needs action at a global level, experts are warning.
The Department of Health have published new guidance on the use of antibiotics in hospitals ahead of European Antibiotics Awareness Day on Sunday.