AMR is recognized by institutions such as:


The global consumption of antibiotics is still increasing

Global consumption of antibiotics in human medicine rose by 36% between 2000 and 2010. (ref.57) This general figure masks declining use in some countries and rapid growth in others. The combination of limited health-care systems and rising incomes to spend on drugs makes emerging countries especially susceptible to overconsumption. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa accounted for three quarters of the global increase in demand for antibiotics between 2000 and 2010, while annual per-person consumption of antibiotics varied by more than a factor of 10 across all middle and high-income countries. (ref.57)

Increased mortality because of antibiotic resistance

In India, a child dies every nine minutes from an infection caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. (ref.01) In the European Union and the USA, some 48,000 people die every year because of antibiotic resistance. (ref.04) (ref.05) In all probability, these are underestimates of the numbers of deaths because of the lack of consistent universal surveillance.

Increased morbidity because of antibiotic resistance

As well as causing increased mortality, infections by resistant bacteria are more difficult to treat and are more likely to complicate many aspects of a hospitalization.
The detection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the hospital environment or in a particular patient can lead to the increased need for isolation wards, cancellation or delay of treatments and surgery, as well as other costly and impactful consequences to the healthcare system. In fact, doctors increasingly worry that antibiotics, when used prior to a risky medical procedure to prevent infectious complications, may no longer function to prevent these infections. Under these circumstances, and faced with the current dearth of new antibiotics, they may have to avoid or reduce high-risk but life-saving medical procedures. When treating such antibiotic-resistant infections, clinicians may have limited therapy options – the use of more toxic options or combining multiple antibiotics, which can cause increased side effects.

AMR Increased Mortality

The impact of antibiotic resistance on lives, health systems and economies is considerable and will continue to grow. Some estimates of the economic effects have been published, and the findings are disturbing. For example, the yearly cost to the US health system alone has been estimated at 21 to 34 billion dollars, as well as more than 8 million extra days in the hospital. (ref.07) In the EU, resistance to antibiotics costs an estimated €1.5 billion per year. (ref.08) Medical costs are only part of the economic equation: reduced employment and income, and increased national healthcare spending also have to be taken into account in assessing the financial impact. The EU estimates that resistance to antibiotics causes 600 million days of lost productivity each year, whereas in Thailand some researchers estimate that it leads to US$2 billion of productivity losses per year. (ref.09) The O’Neill report estimates that by 2050, antibiotic resistance may lead to US$100 trillion in induced world GDP loss. (ref.10)

According to the World Bank, without antibiotic resistance containment, the annual costs could become as massive as those of the global financial crisis that started in 2008. Moreover, the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 – such as ending poverty, ending hunger, ensuring healthy lives, reducing inequality, and revitalizing global partnerships – are likely to remain unachieved. (ref.72)

Economic Impact of antibiotic resistance