The global need for effective antibiotics-moving towards concerted action
Antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest global health challenges to be addressed in the 21st Century. The risk of widespread antibiotic resistance threatens to mitigate the positive changes made in modernizing healthcare systems; therefore, fresh approaches are essential, as well as new and effective antibacterial drugs. In a globalized world, a spectrum of different interventions and health technologies must be employed to contain antibiotic resistance. Finding ways of accelerating the development of new drugs and diagnostic tools is one strategy, as is better surveillance of antibiotic resistance and ways of improving use of existing antibiotics. Moreover, a framework to regulate use is called for to avoid that potential new antibiotics are squandered. Finally, the ongoing pandemic spread of resistant bacteria illustrates that the problem can only be addressed through international cooperation and thus that any new strategy to manage antibiotic resistance must take into consideration issues of global access and affordability.