Social, cultural and economic aspects of antimicrobial resistance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Minssen, Timo
  • Kevin Outterson
  • Susan Rogers Van Katwyk
  • Pedro Henrique D. Batista
  • Clare Chandler
  • Francesco Ciabuschi
  • Stephan Harbarth
  • Aaron Kesselheim
  • Ramanan Laxminarayan
  • Kathleen Liddell
  • Michael T. Osterholm
  • Lance Price
  • Steven J. Hoffman
"The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the terrible cost of being unprepared for global health emergencies. The lack of treatments, vaccines, and sufficiently coordinated responses resulted in many unprecedented challenges that must now be analyzed and tackled rapidly. The crisis has raised awareness of the urgent need to improve the design of health systems, as well as the practical implementation of new strategies and technical solutions to better prepare for future pandemics. These preparations must also consider harms secondary to the pandemic, including the resulting effects on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). While drug-resistant infections pose a well-known and severe threat to human and animal health, the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding this already problematic situation. Although often considered only a medical problem, antimicrobial resistance is an evolutionary challenge accelerated by social, cultural and economic factors that lead to the misuse, overuse and abuse of life-saving antimicrobial medicines. The antimicrobial resistance challenge is compounded by inadequate attention to disease prevention and response, global circulation of people and products, differences in industry and market regulations across countries, and a fragile pipeline of new antibiotics and their alternatives. While the discovery of new antimicrobials will provide temporary solutions, sustainable success requires rigorous social science research that explores the drivers of antimicrobial resistance. These solutions should promote balance between equitable access to, conservation of, and innovation for antimicrobials, adapted to local conditions across the globe. To encourage collaboration and to address this challenge, we have created the International Network for Antimicrobial Resistance Social Science (INAMRSS).12 The network is an open consortium of social science researchers focused on addressing the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance. We believe antimicrobial resistance is only surmountable through efforts that consider social, political and economic factors. We intend to champion social science as part of a broadly defined One Health perspective to inform global initiatives. INAMRSS is a member of the Global AMR R&D Hub stakeholder group, which has built a system to track antimicrobial resistance research investment, but has not yet started monitoring relevant social science research funding. We endorse the recommendation of the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance for creating an Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against such resistance, with appropriate expertise across disciplines including the social sciences, and with a focus on the ways that humans are driving this problem and can contribute to solutions"
Original languageEnglish
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Volume98
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)823-824
Number of pages2
ISSN0042-9686
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Law - social science, antimicrobial resistance, innovation, access, conservation, law, economics, medicine, behavioral science

ID: 246593146