Antimicrobial agents, including antibiotics, are used in healthcare across the world - from treating minor infections, enabling safe operations through to use in chemotherapy and life-threatening infections such as sepsis. Simply put, we need them to work.
But they are losing their effectiveness and leading to the rise in drug-resistant infections - the so-called superbugs.
As part of Pfizer UK's ongoing dedication to tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), we've launched a national campaign which aims to help us all feel empowered to change the course of AMR and create a new future for antibiotics.
Published November 2020
▶ WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Drug resistant infections are one of the biggest public health challenges today. They are rooted in the over-reliance on and misuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents.
Currently, AMR kills 700,000 people per year globally. Without antibiotics, there will be a significant increase in deaths.
Antibiotic resistance is not a problem that can be permanently fixed – we can't stop bacteria evolving and becoming resistant to antibiotics. But we can change our relationship with antibiotics and recognise antibiotic resistance as a health issue we have to live with and continuously work hard to keep it at bay.
▶ WHY NOW?
In 2020 we have come to understand how quickly a pandemic can change our lives.
The deadly consequences of the pandemic are a reflection of what happens when there is a disease which can affect anybody and for which we have no effective medical solution or cohesive system to address on a global scale.
We have experienced how our wellbeing can be dependent on the health and behaviour of those around us. With public awareness and knowledge about pandemics at an all-time high, now is the time to work together and take action on antibiotic resistance.
Lisa experienced a number of antibiotic resistant infections - including lung infections like pneumonia and surgical site infections. Recurring infections where she ends up in hospital or unwell have a huge impact on Lisa's mental health too, and also her wider family who worry about passing other infections onto her.
Amer contracted a serious kidney infection while studying for his masters. During his final exam, Amer felt severe pain in his kidney and went straight to hospital. Originally Amer was sent home, but after collapsing he was rushed back to hospital and diagnosed with septic shock. The doctors said there was an 80% chance that Amer wouldn't have survived, but fortunately he was given the right antibiotic at the right time.
Sheila's story of how constant urinary tract infections have caused her depression, anxiety and dread; and how nothing has changed over the last 50 years as she suffered and searched for a cure.
▶ SIMON'S STORY
Simon went into hospital for a routine knee operation at the age of 45. The operation was a success, however, soon afterwards he developed a life-threatening antibiotic resistant infection, know as MRSA, and was in a coma for three and a half weeks. His family, including his three young children, were told to prepare for the worst.
▶ WHAT CAN I DO TO TAKE ACTION?
It starts with action to take antibiotics responsibly and help prevent infections.
Spread the word
Start talking about the threat of antibiotic resistance and what we can do about it
Consider how you and others are affected
Share this report to start a conversation
Join others already talking about the issue
Call for action
Help advocate for change on a larger scale
Make your voice heard by speaking out about the issue
Find out how antibiotics are used in food production
Join the learning revolution
Change the way we create a future with antibiotics
Learn about the real-world issue of antibiotic resistance
Get involved in citizen science
▶ MEET THE CHANGE THE COURSE TASKFORCE
We’re honoured to have been working with some of the country’s leading experts – from microbiologists to behavioural psychologists – to take a fresh look at the topic and share clear steps we can all take to make a difference.
University of Aberdeen and Trustee and Education Committee Chair
Antibiotic Research UK
CEO and Founder
Game Doctor Ltd
Antibiotics Research UK
Behavioural psychologist and Managing Director
Engagement Streategist and Creative Director
University of Sussex
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
This campaign and report have been funded by Pfizer UK. The taskforce members have been contracted as part of the campaign to provide their independent and expert advice.