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World Antibiotics Awareness Week 2019. A world without antibiotics could be closer than you think.

18/11/19
 
For World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019, we are helping to highlight the very real threat of antimicrobial resistance and how we all have a role to play in the fight to keep antibiotics working.

 

Survival of the fittest - meet the 'Superbugs'

Bacteria has the ability to mutate, which means they are able to adapt to constantly changing environmental conditions. This inbuilt ability has meant that some strains of bacteria have been able to become resistant to antibiotics, making them harder to kill.1 And the more use we antibiotics, the less effective those medicines become, especially if we don't finish the full dose of antibiotics or we overuse them.1 When bacteria develops this resistance to the medicines designed to fight them, it's known as antimicrobial resistance or AMR and the bacterial itself is refered to as a 'Superbug'.1

 

 

Antimicrobial resistance is happening now

You might think that AMR is something we only need to worry about in the future, but in fact it already causes 700,000 deaths annually and an international review led by Lord O’Neill estimated that this figure could rise to 10 million deaths per year by 2050, which would exceed estimates of deaths caused by cancer.2

So the time to act is now.

 

How can you help?

We all have a role to play in the fight against the ‘superbugs’ and by following these 4 simple steps, you too can help control the spread of resistance.1,3

Keep yourself clean and healthy
The simple act of washing hands can stop infections spreading.

Use antibiotics correctly
Always follow the instructions you are given by your doctor when taking antibiotics.

Keep vaccinations up to date for you and your family
Everyone knows the saying – prevention is better than cure.

Spread the word
To win the fight we need everyone to take action.

 

If you are in London between 21st-22nd November, then find out more about AMR by visiting our very own ‘Bug Bus’ experiential event. The 'Bug Bus' will be in Russell Square on 21st November and Kings Cross Station on the 22nd November. Packed full of fun, engaging educational information for all the family. Children can meet the Superbugs, have a game of ‘Battle the Bacteria’, test their handwashing skills with our blue light and learn all about antimicrobial resistance.

 

 

What action is Pfizer taking? 

As one of the original signatory companies of the Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in 2016,4 and as one of the largest providers of medicines that treat infections, we’re proud to be a key player in the fight against AMR. However, no one person or organisation can fix the growing threat and there is certainly no one answer to the problem. That’s why we’re working with government, healthcare workers and other organisations across the globe to tackle the problem.

Take a look at some of our initiatives below:

 

Public education and awareness
 
"Superbugs: Join the fight" school programme

Working alongside the National Schools Partnership, we developed a school programme called 'Superbugs: Join the fight' to help raise awareness of antibiotic resistance with primary and secondary school students and their teachers.

 

Between November 2017 and April 2019, we sponsored the "Superbugs: the fight for our lives" exhibition. Almost 1.5 million visitors explored the growing threat of antibiotic resistance through the free, London-based exhibition.

 

Surveillance and Stewardship
 

In 2017, Pfizer Inc. launched the ATLAS website, to provide healthcare professionals, researchers and the global health community with easy access to critical resistance information and inform them about resistance trends across more than 70 countries.5

 

We are proud sponsors of a collaboration with the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and the University of Dundee on the development of an online educational course for healthcare professionals on antibiotic stewardship.6

 

Policy Leadership
 

For the last 2 years, Pfizer UK has played a key role in the cross-industry initiative to develop a new ‘subscription’ style payment model that aims to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines for resistant infections.

 

In September 2019, we announced an important change to how we incentivise our anti-infectives field-force as part of our commitment to fight AMR.

 

Research and development
 

We have over 80 anti-infective medicines and vaccines and continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our R&D pipeline to ensure we address the evolving medical needs of patients and healthcare workers.

 

 

References

  1. World Health Organisation. 'Antimicrobial Resistance' Feb 2018.
  2. 'Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally' May 2016.
  3. World Health Organisation. 'Infection Prevention and Control' Accessed Nov 2019.
  4. 'Declaration by the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and DiagnosticsIndustriesonCombatingAntimicrobial Resistance' Jan 2016.
  5. Pfizer 2017 Annual Review. ATLAS. June 2018.
  6. BSAC. 'Acknowledgements' Accessed Nov 2019

 

PP-PFE-GBR-2156 / Nov 2019