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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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Trends in antimicrobial resistance in OECD countries

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) proportions have evolved very differently across countries and antibiotic-bacterium combinations in the last decade. This chapter looks at the challenges involved in defining and measuring resistance internationally, along with the methodology used to estimate historic and future resistance proportions. The chapter presents predicted resistance proportions for 52 countries for 2015, along with the rate of change since 2005 (averaged across eight priority antibiotic-bacterium pairs). The chapter then provides data on the projected resistance proportions across the same countries up to 2030. Factors contributing to the wide variability in the predicted resistance proportions between antibiotic-bacterium pairs within and across different countries are explored. The chapter concludes by looking at the problem of increasing resistance to second and third-line antimicrobials and highlights steps needed to achieve better empirical research and more targeted policy actions.

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