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Stemming the Superbug Tide

Just A Few Dollars More

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a large and growing problem with the potential for enormous health and economic consequences, globally. As such, AMR has become a central issue at the top of the public health agenda of OECD countries and beyond. In this report, OECD used advanced techniques, including machine learning, ensemble modelling and a microsimulation model, to provide support for policy action in the human health sector. AMR rates are high and are projected to grow further, particularly for second- and third-line antibiotics, and if no effective action is taken this is forecasted to produce a significant health and economic burden in OECD and EU28 countries. This burden can be addressed by implementing effective public health initiatives. This report reviews policies currently in place in high-income countries and identifies a set of ‘best buys’ to tackle AMR that, if scaled up at the national level, would provide an affordable and cost-effective instrument in the fight against AMR.

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Cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial resistance control policies

The impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on health and health systems expenditure is substantial and set to increase dramatically if no action is taken to curb current trends. Existing AMR control policies have the potential to significantly influence the burden of AMR through first reducing the risk of transmission of infections or by reducing the inappropriate prescription and use of antimicrobials. This chapter reports the findings of a cost-effectiveness model developed to assess and compare the health and economic impact of a number of AMR control policies relative to a business-as-usual scenario in which there are no interventions. The OECD SPHeP-AMR model was used to assess performances of six selected policies – stewardship programmes, improved hand hygiene, enhanced environmental hygiene, rapid diagnostic tests, delayed prescriptions and mass media campaigns – if they were scaled up to national levels in 33 countries. The effects of each AMR control policy on health outcomes and health care expenditure for the 33 countries included in the microsimulation are presented, along with the possible impact of combining different policies. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of the findings and sensitivity analysis of the main outcomes are discussed.

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