The BMA has welcomed a commitment by the Department of Health and Social Care for more than £30m in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
It has said it will invest millions into a variety of projects aimed at addressing the growing problem of AMR (antibiotic resistance), which is leading to certain infections being untreatable.
A total of £20m will go to the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, which supports international research for new vaccines and alternative treatments to antibiotics.
Five million will be given to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, and to a research partnership between the UK and Argentina focusing on AMR in agriculture.
A total of £1m is to be given to the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, and its project to develop new treatments for drug-resistant gonorrhoea.
The funding, which is targeted across research, prevention and treatment, is in line with the BMA’s own ‘one health’ approach to AMR, which calls for action across human medicine, veterinary practice and agriculture – and to support diagnostic capacity in low- to middle-income countries.
BMA board of science chair Dame Parveen Kumar said that the new funding commitment was extremely welcome albeit long overdue.
She said: ‘The decision to invest into studies devoted to addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance is hugely welcome, and I am pleased that this much-needed funding will be applied internationally, and across a number of projects focusing on different aspects of the antimicrobial resistance challenge.’
It is estimated that antimicrobial resistance accounts for around 5,000 deaths in the UK each year and 700,000 around the rest of the world.