Antimicrobial Resistance

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