Julian raises awareness of growing threat of antibiotic resistance
October 15, 2014
Julian hosted a highly attended parliamentary debate today on the increasingly important issue of antibiotic resistance.
In the debate he stressed the link between the misuse of antibiotics and the growing threat that resistance poses to modern medicine. Julian also stated that although there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse and resistance, antibiotics have been misused and as a consequences we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.
Julian also discussed the importance of investment from pharmaceutical companies was also discussed by MPs from all parties in order to ensure that the issue is tackled as an urgent priority.
As Julian said in the debate:
“For far too long antibiotics have been used as if they were a bottomless pit of cure-all miracle treatments. Some 30 years ago, the battle against infectious diseases appeared to have been won, at least in the developed world. The old drugs could handle whatever bugs came along, which meant there was no market for new ones. That is why, since the year 2000, just five new classes of antibiotics have been discovered.
“In an increasingly interconnected world, an infection that emerges in Delhi today will have an impact in London tomorrow…We live in a globalised world, and 70% of the bacteria in it have now developed a resistance to antibiotics. We have been through a golden age of discovery and have now become complacent. We cannot be the generation that squanders that golden legacy.”
Responding to the debate, Jane Ellison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, reassured MPs that the Government was taking strong action to tackle the problem. She said:
“This is an extremely serious global public health threat… As with so many problems of our developed world, we cannot afford to wait for everyone to go through the same cycle of development, discovery and identification of problems; we need to try to share our understanding. Public Health England is piloting a laboratory-twinning initiative, where high-income Commonwealth nations are working with low and middle-income countries to build up AMR education, training and surveillance capability, rather than waiting for them to develop their own.
“I thank my hon. Friend the Member for York Outer for calling this debate and, indeed, the House for such a well-attended and thoughtful discussion. Everything we can do in this House to highlight the scale of the problem and the urgency of tackling it is very welcome.”
The full text of the debate can be viewed at:
Or press play below to watch it in full: