AMR – Possible solutions

In my post yesterday I outlined the problem of antimicrobial resistance. There is a real concern that the growth in treatment resistant bacteria will mean modern medicine will increasingly become unable to treat what are currently considered to be routine infections.

One possible solution – well I regard it more as a strategy to stop the problem getting worse – in this Country at least is to ensure effective antimicrobial stewardship programmes are in place across the NHS. Put simply this means cutting down on the prescription of antibiotics unless they are absolutely essential. The problem of AMR is at least in part the result of too many antibiotics being used.

The other longer term solution is for scientists to develop a new range of drugs which the bacteria are not immune to. Much work is already being done in this country on this and there is a great opportunity for this Country to become the World leader in developing new treatments.

The government have already been very active in this field and have commissioned a full review of the problemnder the chairmanship of Jim O’Neill.
The full results of all their work can be read on their own dedicated website here: http://amr-review.org

AMR – The problem

Many of the problems MP’s deal with are of local or perhaps a national nature however some are global problems. AMR Is one of these. If you have never heard of AMR let me briefly explain. I am no scientist but basically the problem is this. Over the years since anti- biotics were first discovered doctors have been prescribing them in their millions and millions to help combat various diseases. The problem is that some of the bugs which the anti-biotic drugs were intended combat are starting to mutate into new bugs which are resistant to the drugs. In other words the drugs which would previously have successfully killed off the bugs are now ineffective. AMR Stands for Anti-Microbial Resistance.

This week I attended a meeting in the Commons were experts were on hand to discuss this problem and what can be done about it.