Scientists ask G8+5 to push for new antibiotics

Drug resistance threat to humanity, they say

Three weeks before the world’s top politicians meet at a northern Ireland resort, scientists have asked world leaders to push pharmaceutical companies to invest more in developing new antibiotics as drug resistance has emerged as a major public health threat for the entire world.

Fourteen science academies on Wednesday released an appeal to the leaders of G8+5 countries to consider drug resistance as a “threat against humanity” which should also be made a part of revised Millennium Development Goal.

Heads of world’s eight most influential nations will meet at Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh on June 17-18 to give shape to future development and economic strategies for the world. Besides the G8 leaders, heads of five emerging economies – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – will also be present at the high table.
In the run up to the G8 meeting, India for the first time hosted the meeting of science academies from G8 nations at the Indian National Science Academy here on March 7-9.

The recommendations on drug resistance have been forwarded to the G8 countries for inclusion in the final text of the G8 declaration, which is under negotiation at the moment. There is also a second recommendation on sustainable development.

“We would like the international community to find ways and means to encourage pharmaceutical companies to invest in the development of novel anti-infective drugs in general, especially antibiotics,” says the G-Science statement released here.

In addition to science academies from G8 nations, academies from six other Asian and African countries too signed the statement.

Academies also suggested rational prescriptions, reduced use of antibiotics in animal husbandry, incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs to fight infectious disease, especially new antibiotics and a global surveillance system to look for the signature of antibiotic resistance as other means to bring down the threats of drug resistance.

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