Government plans to combat AMR

The Government has published both a ‘20-year Vision’ and ‘5-year National Action Plan’ for how the UK will contribute to containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2040.

Targets include:

  • Cutting the number of drug-resistant infections by 10% (5,000 infections) by 2025.
  • Reducing antibiotic use in humans by 15%.
  • Preventing at least 15,000 patients from contracting infections as a result of their healthcare each year by 2024.

A major focus is to ensure that current antibiotics stay effective – by reducing the number of resistant infections and supporting appropriate prescribing. The Department of Health and Social Care says ‘new technology’ will also be used to gather real-time patient data, ‘helping clinicians understand when to use and preserve antibiotics in their treatment’. This could be followed and adapted worldwide, ‘building the database on antibiotic use and resistance’. 

Pharmaceutical manufacturers will also be expected to take more responsibility for antibiotic resistance, with NICE and NHS England exploring a new payment model that pays such companies ‘based on how valuable their medicines are to the NHS, rather than on the quantity of antibiotics sold’. 

Antibiotic resistance is predicted to kill 10 million people annually by 2050 without action. 

The 5-year National Action Plan: Tackling antimicrobial resistance 20192024 (, and 20-year Vision: Contained and Controlled, ( y4hcguxz), were developed in close collaboration with the devolved UK administrations.