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New Benchmark Could Make Pharmaceutical Companies ‘Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is’ On Antimicrobial Resistance

Project Syndicate: Tracking Big Pharma’s Progress on AMR
Jim O’Neill, honorary professor of economics at Manchester University and former chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance

“This week, at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, the Access to Medicine Foundation (AMF) is launching an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) benchmark to ‘track how pharmaceutical companies are responding to the increase in drug-resistance.’ … In my view, the new benchmark will have many benefits … [O]ne hopes the benchmark will prod into action all of the firms that have not even bothered to join the fight against AMR. It is worth remembering that at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in January 2016, more than 80 companies signed a declaration promising to work toward solutions. And yet more than 70 of those firms do not appear on the AMF’s new index. Talk is cheap; these companies need to put their money where their mouth is. … It would be great to see similar [AMR] benchmarks for the major food producers and makers of diagnostics. Indeed, I have long believed that diagnostics could be the single biggest game changer in the fight against AMR. But for now, let us hope the pharmaceutical benchmark gets the attention it deserves” (1/23).