Drug Resistance: Could Global Goals Be The Answer To This Worldwide Health Crisis?

  • This year will be critical in combatting the global health threat of drug-resistant infections.
  • Drug resistance has dropped off the global agenda, and commitments and reports have had limited impact so far.
  • Tangible targets and accountability are needed to drive progress and prevent losing the advances of modern medicine.

When thinking about the top 10 global public health threats, your first thoughts might include viruses with pandemic potential, climate change, or poverty. Drug-resistant infections might not immediately jump to mind.

But drug-resistant infections, caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), are a huge global issue. Research published in The Lancet in 2022, unveiled the very real human cost of this crisis – causing 1.27 million deaths in 2019 alone, and associated with an additional 3.7 million deaths (which is more than deaths caused by HIV/AIDs and malaria combined).

This is not a new crisis, but it is one that requires urgent action to avoid a world where a common medical procedure poses a high risk of infection and lengthy hospital stays, with fewer, if any, effective treatments for drug-resistant infections.

What action has been taken to combat drug resistance?

This year marks a decade since the beginning of the landmark Review on Antimicrobial Resistance led by economist Lord Jim O’Neill, which provided the bigger picture of the scale of the problem, elevating this global health threat up the global agenda and offering solutions for governments and industries to prevent it from growing.

In the 10 years since the review there have been a raft of global reports and political commitments, including the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global action plan on AMR, a High Level Meeting on AMR at the UN General Assembly in 2016, and the 2022 Muscat Ministerial Manifesto on AMR. But these have delivered limited impacts, and we have seen little concrete action to address this issue.

For too long drug resistance has not been seen as a high priority for decision makers, despite the risk it poses to modern medicine and potential cost to economies. And on the rare occasion it does feature on the global agenda, the spotlight is focused on building capacity and understanding. While both are essential, we are still missing ways to measure progress, setting evidence-based goals and ensuring action is taken to fill the gaps so global efforts are kept on track.

Establishing bold clear targets – like the 1.5C target for climate change – is the key to incentivise and galvanise support for action against drug resistance. With achievable but ambitious targets and mechanisms to track progress against them, we can drive progress through global collaboration to develop new novel antibiotics and engage with communities most affected in low-and middle-income countries.

By: Jeremy Knox (Head of Policy for Infectious Disease, Wellcome) and Steffen Pierini Lüders (Senior Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Novo Nordisk Foundation)
Originally published at: World Economic Forum

For enquiries, product placements, sponsorships, and collaborations, connect with us at We'd love to hear from you!

Our humans need coffee too! Your support is highly appreciated, thank you!

Previous Article

This Is The One Skill We All Need In The Age Of AI

Next Article

3 Ways Companies Can Mitigate The Risk Of AI In The Workplace

Related Posts

IBM Delivers Its Highest Quantum Volume to Date, Expanding the Computational Power of its IBM Cloud-Accessible Quantum Computers

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y., Aug. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, IBM has unveiled a new milestone on its quantum computing road map, achieving the company's highest Quantum Volume to date. Combining a series of new software and hardware techniques to improve overall performance, IBM has upgraded one of its newest 27-qubit client-deployed systems to achieve a Quantum Volume 64. The company has made a total of 28 quantum computers available over the last four years through IBM Quantum Experience.  In order to achieve a Quantum Advantage, the point where certain information processing tasks can be performed more efficiently or cost effectively on a quantum computer, versus a classical one, it will require improved quantum circuits, the building blocks of quantum applications. Quantum Volume measures the length and complexity of circuits – the higher the Quantum Volume, the higher the potential for exploring solutions to real world problems across industry, government, and research. To achieve this milestone, the company focused on a new set of techniques and improvements that used knowledge of the hardware to optimally run the Quantum Volume circuits. These hardware-aware methods are extensible and will improve any quantum circuit run on any IBM Quantum system, resulting in improvements to the experiments and applications which users can explore. These techniques will be available in upcoming releases and improvements to the IBM Cloud software services and the cross-platform open source software development kit (SDK) Qiskit.  "We are always finding new ways to push the limits of our systems so that we can run larger, more complex quantum circuits and more quickly achieve a Quantum Advantage," said Jay Gambetta, IBM Fellow and Vice President, IBM Quantum. "IBM's full-stack approach gives an innovative avenue to develop hardware-aware applications, algorithms and circuits, all running on the most extensive and powerful quantum hardware fleet in the industry."  The IBM Quantum team has shared details on the technical improvements made across the full stack to reach Quantum Volume 64 in a preprint released on arXiv, today. IBM Quantum Highlights IBM has reached Quantum Volume 64 on a 27-qubit system deployed within the IBM Q Network [] 28 quantum computing systems deployed on the IBM Cloud over the last four years with eight systems boasting a Quantum Volume of 32 The IBM Q Network has 115 client, government, startup, partner, and university members 250,000+ registered users of the IBM Quantum Experience [] Users routinely execute more than 1 Billion hardware circuits per day on IBM Quantum systems on the IBM Cloud  Researchers have published 250+ papers based on work on IBM Quantum systems About IBM Quantum IBM Quantum is an industry-first initiative to build quantum systems for business and science applications. For more information about IBM's quantum computing efforts, please visit  For more information about the IBM Q Network, as well as a full list of all partners, members, and hubs, visit Chris NayExternal CommunicationsIBM SOURCE IBM