The fight against antibiotic resistance

A British report has warned that by 2050 antibiotic-resistant superbugs could kill ten million people a year. Researchers attribute this to people taking the medications as if they were "sweets". How can the uncontrolled use of antibiotics be stopped?

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RTE News (IE) /

Governments must prevent catastrophe

Governments must become active in the fight against resistance to antibiotics, the web portal RTE News demands:

“They have a moral responsibility to inform people through high impact mass education campaigns that they are sleep-walking their way into a catastrophe. They also need to bring in tougher rules regarding the prescription and use of antibiotics in agriculture, and food producers need to see the light and abide by them. Public health authorities should promote vaccine take-up in the hope that it might reduce the need for infection-killing drugs. ... It’s time to stop resisting efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Tax antibiotics

A tax on antibiotics could limit their use while raising money for the development of new medicines, the Financial Times argues:

“Although we are generally wary of imposing new taxes, there is a good argument for imposing one on antibiotics used in agriculture and human medicine, most of which are cheap off-patent compounds; an antibiotics tax could not only raise money but also reduce demand for these overused products by making them more expensive. ... Antibiotic resistance must be high on the agenda at key global meetings this year, particularly the G20 chaired by China in September. Few other issues are as important for human health and welfare.”