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Antimicrobial resistance: the silent global pandemic

Public health Medicine Pharmaceuticals Antibiotics Australia

Antimicrobial resistance requires a global response, and one country’s actions will not have a significant impact if other nations continue to act independently of one another. As a wealthy, developed country with an advanced healthcare system, Australia is well placed to lead global efforts to control the growing threat of resistant infections and other health threats, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Australia, however, is lagging in several key areas, including public awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance; stewardship; coordination and incentives for research and development; and national One Health governance.

To address this, the AMA has proposed several solutions that build on work the government is already doing to encourage behavioural change, incentivise antimicrobial research and development, and deliver a unified, One Health approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance. These solutions include:

  • establishing a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) that is a recognised separate authority for the national scientific leadership and coordination of diseases and health threats, as well as several immediate priorities for government to ensure Australia’s response to antimicrobial resistance is effective, integrated, and aligned to One Health objectives
  • improving antimicrobial stewardship practices in Australia, by embedding stewardship practices, education and training, and clinical decision support tools into all sectors
  • improving the antimicrobial market through sovereign manufacturing of antimicrobials and implementing mechanisms to incentivise research and development.
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