Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a significant threat to the health of populations around the world. In Europe alone approximately 100 people die of drug-resistant infections every day . This number is projected to increase significantly, with UN reports predicting that if urgent action isn’t taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths every year globally.
Huw Tippett is the Chief Executive of Shionogi Europe.
We need to act now to ensure that future generations don’t inherit a world without reliable antimicrobials. At Shionogi Europe, we’re committed to playing our part through developing robust anti-infectives, whilst working with others to ensure good stewardship of the precious armoury we have against deadly diseases.
Taking bold actions to find positive solutions
Finding solutions to this important challenge requires us to move beyond the traditional model of drug discovery and development. We know how difficult it is to find new antibiotics and the time and investment it takes to bring them to market only serves to highlight this urgency. We’re proud to be among the few pharmaceutical companies who continue to devote resource to research and development of anti-infectives and we take this commitment seriously – we invest the highest proportion of our revenues in relevant anti-infectives R&D compared with other large pharmaceutical companies.
However, our research alone won’t be enough – we need to work in partnership with diverse stakeholders to drive innovation for a new era. Put simply, to combat AMR we need to invest in research into new anti-infectives and build market incentives that ensure investment continues. But it is the responsible use of antibiotics and continued progress on infection prevention and control practices that will ensure we succeed.
Critically, this will require pharmaceutical organisations, life sciences companies, policy makers and healthcare professionals to come to the table with an open mind about the solutions we need to put in place. What the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that in an increasingly connected world, when it comes to infectious diseases unless we are all safe, none of us are safe. Working together to unite around a single cause, private and public bodies can accelerate solutions to combat enormous healthcare challenges.
Collaboration is key to increasing awareness in Europe
At Shionogi Europe, we’re helping to put this approach into practice. We’ve worked with policy makers in the UK and Sweden on world-leading pilot models that disrupt the way prescribing is valued and incentivised. We’re optimistic about the impact this work can have, but equally conscious that what’s right in one country might not be appropriate for another. What is important is the willingness to come together to work out approaches that can deliver the shared impact we all want to see.
We firmly believe that by coming together with like-minded partners who are equally prepared to do things differently, Europe can lead the way in combatting AMR. That’s why at this year’s European Health Forum Gastein, we have organised a dedicated session to harness the power of partnership across Europe
Taking the lead when others may shy away
We are committed to forging a more sustainable healthcare future in all its forms. Our work with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to improve and accelerate access to newer antibiotics for middle and lower income countries is just one way we are delivering on this commitment.
AMR poses a critical threat to public health and demands urgent global action to combat its potentially devastating consequences. We owe it to society to all play our part, for the good of future generations.