£85 million pledged to tackle antibiotic emergency
Antibiotic pills on a blue background.

Funding of £85 million will be announced at a global event to support the international community in tackling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

A package of up to £85 million to support the international community in tackling the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, a global issue that makes infections difficult or impossible to treat, will be announced today by the government.

World leaders and experts, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the World Bank, will attend a global event hosted by the Royal Society to agree priority actions to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and hear accounts from AMR survivors. 

The government will announce a variety of initiatives. These include partnering with countries in Africa for improving access to essential antimicrobial drugs, creating a dedicated team in the Medical Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to support creating novel antimicrobials and diagnostics, and spending up to £10 million on establishing a Global Independent Scientific Panel for AMR.

They said these new projects build on ongoing international and domestic work to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance, including the recently announced National Action Plan and a partnership with countries across Asia and Africa to tackle AMR and reduce the threat posed to the UK.

Health Minister Stephenson said:  "Antimicrobial Resistance could render our most vital medicines useless - it is a threat the world must take extremely seriously. 

"This package of up to £85 million builds on the world-leading work the UK government is already doing to support low- and middle-income countries to monitor, research and tackle this disease."

In 2019, 4.95 million global deaths were associated with drug-resistant bacterial infections. By 2050 this is set to rise to 10 million, and the global economic cost of this is calculated to be 100 trillion US dollars.

The event - The World Together Solving the Antibiotic Emergency – is being organised by the government in partnership with The Royal Society.

It will celebrate the successes of global action to tackle AMR and look ahead to commitments for what more the world can do collaboratively in the fight against AMR, looking ahead to the important milestone of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on AMR in September.