Stichting Health Action International

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Antimicrobial resistance

Statement to the Seventy-second World Health Assembly
Agenda Item 11. 8
Follow-up on High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance

Health Action International welcomes the Director General’s report and commends WHO for its efforts to address arguably the biggest global health challenge to be faced this millennium: the rise of anti-microbial resistance and the dearth of new, effective antibiotics.

We note the increasing number of countries in the process of developing or implementing antimicrobial resistance national action plans, and the ongoing collaboration between UN agencies. Civil society’s contribution is fundamental to such efforts—We support the calls for the creation of a One Health Global Leadership Group on AMR, and the establishment of an independent panel on evidence for action against AMR.

Regarding the implementation of Global Action Plan Objective 5—sustainable and increased needs-based investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions—we believe that the work of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) can be replicated by other not-for-profits working on delinkage innovation models that are not incentivised by patent monopolies.

We reject in the strongest terms the abandonment of the antibiotic development pipeline by some in the pharmaceutical industry. We will not accept the position whereby society is expected to fund financial incentives to overcome the ongoing shortfall in innovation. Without a public return on public investment, it is, in short, blackmail.

We are ready to engage with any stakeholder willing to combat AMR inducing pollution generated during pharmaceutical production, or antibiotic resistance in livestock, but will insist, again and again, that rational use and sound prescription remains the best possible strategy, now and in the future.