Pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has expressed the concern that if antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to rise unchecked, it could lead to formerly minor infections becoming life-threatening and serious infections becoming superbugs that are impossible to treat.
The company has therefore urged governments and the public health community to work together with industry to take further action and support measures that will enable continued innovation in the development of new antibiotics and vaccines to help curb the spread of AMR.
According to Pfizer, AMR remains a major threat to public health and needed to be addressed with all seriousness.
The pharmaceutical company in a virtual roundtable media discussion with some health professionals said AMR is a silent threat, but it is already here and needs urgent attention. “If AMR continues to rise unchecked, formerly minor infections could become life-threatening, serious infections could become superbugs that are impossible to treat, and many routine medical procedures could become too risky to perform,” the company said in a statement issued after the virtual roundtable.
The virtual roundtable was held to create awareness about Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship. Similarly, the virtual roundtable was hosted to raise awareness in ensuring ongoing patient safety so as to maintain the future effectiveness of antibiotics. Currently, according to data, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases.
Speaking at event, a Clinical Pharmacologist at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Kwame Ohene Buabeng, said “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious threat to global public health. It increases morbidity and mortality, and is associated with high economic costs due to its health care burden.
“For him, infections with multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria also have substantial implications on clinical and economic outcomes. He explained that increased indiscriminate use of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic will heighten bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths.
For his part, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Yaw A. Amoako, “Antimicrobial stewardship programmes optimize the use of antimicrobials, improve patient outcomes, reduce AMR and health-care-associated infections, and save health-care costs amongst others.
“He added that a robust pipeline of new antimicrobials is essential to restoring the balance against increasing rates of AMR. The Medical Director West Africa Pfizer, Dr. Kodjo Soroh, noted that AMR is one of the biggest threats to global health today and can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.