An International Legal Framework to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (Bull World Health Organ 2015;93:66)
(2015; 1 page)


Antimicrobial resistance is recognized as a grave threat to global health. It already causes an estimated 700000 deaths annually and – without effective action – is predicted to cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050. The World Health Organization (WHO) has prepared a draft Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance that will be discussed at this year’s World Health Assembly. However, more is required if the world is to grapple effectively with this huge and complex problem. Global collective action is required in three areas:

  1. access, to ensure that the prevention tools, diagnostics and therapies needed to reduce the infectious disease burden are available and affordable to everyone, everywhere;
  2. conservation, to reduce the need for antimicrobials and ensure their responsible use through prevention efforts, infection control, surveillance and appropriate prescriptions; and
  3. innovation, to develop the next generation of antimicrobials, vaccines, diagnostics and infection control technologies.

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