Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) causes an estimated 700,000 deaths annually worldwide, and every country is potentially affected. If not properly addressed, the number could grow to 10 million per year by 2050.

Causes of antimicrobial resistance

AMR occurs when bacteria and other microbes adapt and become less susceptible to medical treatment.

While much attention is focused on the improper use of antimicrobials, there is increasing evidence that medicine quality is another significant factor. Medicines with a lower dose of the active ingredient can lead to resistance. Strategies aimed at addressing antimicrobial resistance include ensuring broad access to affordable medicines, proper stewardship of existing antimicrobial treatments, investments in the development of new treatments. Medicine quality underpins all three.

The importance of quality medicine

Quality medicine is essential to address the global threat of AMR. USP is helping with:

  • Standards - Developing and updating quality standards for medicines including antimalarials and antimicrobials used to treat diseases such as tuberculosis, meningitis and pneumonia.
  • Capability building - Strengthening systems to detect and remove substandard antimicrobials from the market and help local health systems improve access to quality antimicrobial medicines.
  • Advocacy - Raising awareness and understanding of medicine quality and AMR to foster dialog, inform policy decisions, and build stakeholder coalitions to advocate for investment in regulatory systems, quality-assurance and action. Read the Ghana Declaration: Call-to-Action on Antimicrobial Resistance
amr and the supply chain
New insights into the antimicrobial medicines supply chain

Pharmaceutical supply chain vulnerabilities exist for antimicrobial medicines, with antibiotics more likely to be in shortage compared to all other drugs, according to an analysis from the Medicine Supply Map.

Read the insights

Global public policy position: Addressing antimicrobial resistance

USP supports a comprehensive public policy framework that focuses on reducing the prevalence of poor-quality medicines which contribute to the development of AMR.

Read the position paper

medicine quality to combat AMR
Advancing quality of medicines to combat AMR

Evidence gathered over the last several years indicates that poor-quality medicines lead to AMR and contribute to the spread of infectious diseases.

Read the report

CDC’s AMR challenge
Participating in CDC’s AMR challenge

Quality medicines underpin AMR strategies and are essential to limiting the emergence and geographic spread of antimicrobial resistance. USP is proud to participate in the CDC’s AMR challenge.

Read USP's statement

petri dish culture
The Quality Institute

 The USP Quality Institute's research and data will help inform health care policy and other decision-makers about the need to invest scarce resources to assure medicines quality.

Learn more about the research