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G20, Major Pharmaceutical Companies Should Ensure Global Access To Effective Antimicrobial Treatments

Project Syndicate: Antimicrobial Resistance on the Global Agenda
Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the U.K. Treasury, professor of economics at Manchester University, visiting research fellow at Bruegel, and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance

“…The G20 would be an ideal forum in which to take international action against antimicrobial resistance. … The biggest question that remains to be addressed is how to divide the cost among governments, the pharmaceutical industry, health systems, development agencies, and large charitable foundations. This is where the focus of the discussion needs to be now. … Ensuring that future generations have access to effective antimicrobial treatments will cost little compared to other global challenges. … Finding about $2 billion a year over 10 years to stop the return of infectious diseases is well within the means of the world’s 20 richest countries or 20 of its largest pharmaceutical companies. If they joined forces to fund a solution, the cost would be a rounding error in their bottom lines. But, given the size of the returns, it would be one of the wisest investments that they — or anyone — could make” (12/1).