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New analysis from the OECD highlights that spending just a couple of dollars per person could help prevent deaths from antimicrobial resistance.
A new report, ‘Stemming the Superbug Tide: Just a Few Dollars More’, from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has stated that three out of four deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could be prevented by spending just $2 per person a year on simple measures.
The OECD predicts that over the next 30 years, for the 33 countries it included in its analysis, the cost of dealing with complications as a result of AMR could be $3.5 billion a year unless more action is taken. In the report, it is revealed that Southern European countries are at risk of being heavily affected by superbugs, with Italy, Greece, and Portugal predicted to be those with the highest mortality rates. Italy, the United States, and France are the countries that rank highest for absolute death rates in the report.
To avoid these predicted outcomes, the OECD has specified that short-term investment could save lives and also money. As laid out in the report, the OECD recommends a five-pronged approach to AMR: Promotion of better hygiene, an end to over-prescription of antibiotics, rapid testing for patients to determine viral or bacterial infections, delays in prescribing antibiotics, and mass media campaigns.
Additionally, the OECD reports that an investment in a comprehensive public health package could pay for itself in OECD countries within one year and end up creating a saving of approximately $4.8 billion per year.
Geographical variations in resistance were also noted, with average resistance proportions in Turkey, Korea, and Greece (approximately 35%) rating seven times higher than those in Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway-which had the lowest proportions (about 5%). Furthermore, in countries that are not members of OECD, such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Russia, resistance levels are notably higher and rate of AMR growth is forecasted to be four to seven times higher than that of OECD member countries between now and 2050.
Concerns were also raised in the report about resistance to second and third-line antibiotics, which is expected to increase by 70% in 2030 when compared with figures from 2005. These forms of antibiotics represent the most effective line of defence in the prevention of infections.