Public Health England launches campaign to highlight antibiotic resistance

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Last week Public Health England (PHE) launched a national campaign to support the UK government’s attempts to reduce unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics by raising awareness of the issue of antibiotics resistance and reducing demand from the general population.

The government aims to halve inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in the UK by 2020. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today. A growing number of infections, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

Antibiotic resistance is activated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. The PHE campaign follows a pilot study carried out in the North West earlier this year where results were positive: 49% of consumers and 60% of GPs were aware of the campaign; GPs were less likely to report being asked to prescribe antibiotics frequently; and people in the North West were less likely to ask their GP from antibiotics.

Alderley Park is at the centre of the developments within this complex field. Home to the UK’s AMR Centre, a joint private-public initiative, scientists based at the Park are working to support and accelerate the development of new antibiotics and diagnostics through a fully integrated development capability. Being based at Alderley Park enables the AMR Centre to have access to a range of world class facilities including on-site pre-clinical imaging, NMR, mass spectrometry and scientific services, alongside access to an experienced pharma talent base.

As part of the AMR Centre’s ambition to tackle this global challenge, their approach includes a partnering model whereby the centre is actively looking to partner with innovative companies and institutions from around the world. Projects are jointly funded by Carb-X which brings together partners including the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services, Wellcome Trust, AMR Centre, and Boston University. Carb-X are investing up to $48 million in projects.

The campaign comes ahead of the World Health Organisation’s annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 13 -19 November.

BioInfect, featuring the AMR Centre, takes place on 2 November, at Alderley Park.

Katie Droogan