Action to tackle anti-microbial resistance was stepped up a notch today as more than 80 leading international pharmaceutical companies joined forces through the signing of a declaration today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Declaration on Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance sets out how governments and industry need to work with one another to support sustained investment in new products needed to beat the challenges of rising drug resistance.

This is the first time that commercial drug developers have agreed on a common set of principles for global action to support conservation measures and the development of new drugs. The declaration also makes the call for all governments around the world to move forward from existing statements of intent and to work with the industry to take concrete action.

Why is the declaration so important? 

The independent review on AMR chaired by the economist Lord Jim O’Neill, estimated that the rise of drug resistant infections could claim 10 million lives each year by 2050 and result in a cumulative loss from global output of 100 trillion dollars unless effective action is taken.Comparative deaths

What does the declaration say?

The declaration covers three areas that signatories must commit to:

  • Reducing the development of drug resistance: encouraging better and more appropriate use of existing antibiotics by working with the World Health Organisation and by supporting improved education for clinicians. They will also work to promote a more judicious use of antibiotics in livestock as part of a one health approach
  • Increasing investment in R&D that meets global public health needs: continuing and extending collaborative initiatives between industry, academia and public bodies to improve how R&D in the field is done and provide greater opportunities to overcome the scientific barriers of antibiotic discovery.
  • Improve access to high quality antibiotics for all: supporting initiatives aimed at ensuring affordable access to antibiotics in all parts of the world at all levels of income

WorldMapChief Executive of the BIA, Steve Bates commented on the declaration:
“The ever-growing threat to world health from antimicrobial resistance cannot be tackled unless industry and governments around the world work together in new ways. It’s fantastic to see so many key organisations already signed up to the declaration and the UK innovation ecosystem has a lot to contribute to this global challenge”

BIA members that have signed up so far include: Absynth Biologics Ltd, AstraZeneca plc, Auspherix Ltd, Discuva Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Novabiotics and RedX Pharma. For more information on the declaration or to sign up your company please go to