Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

IFPMA Report on Antimicrobial Resistance


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: AMR, Initiatives mentioned;

Why in the news?

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) released a report titled “From Resistance to Resilience: Reinforcing the Response to Antimicrobial Resistance,” emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced Antibiotic development.

Report Highlights: Current State of Antibiotic Development:

  • Weak Pipeline: The current pipeline for developing new antibiotics is described as weak, fragile, and insufficient against growing antimicrobial resistance.
  • AMR Threat: Recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the greatest global health threats, AMR is linked to around 1.2 million direct deaths and 5 million associated deaths annually.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?

  • Antimicrobials are substances designed to eliminate or suppress the growth of microorganisms.
  • This category encompasses antibiotics, fungicides, antiviral drugs, and agents targeting parasites.
  • AMR occurs when microbes such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi become resistant to antimicrobial treatments to which they were previously susceptible.
  • Microorganisms that develop resistance to antimicrobials are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”.

Global Status of AMR

A recent report from the Global Research on Anti-microbial Resistance (GRAM) project found that:

  • In 2019, an estimated 4.95 million people suffered from at least one drug-resistant infection and AMR directly caused 1.27 million deaths.
  • AMR is one of India’s major public health problems, directly contributing to about 30% of deaths due to neonatal sepsis across India.
  • These are due to multidrug-resistant (MDR) hospital-acquired infections in many cases.
  • 30% of the COVID-19 deaths in India could be attributed to our failure to treat the secondary bacterial infections caused by MDR pathogens with the appropriate antibiotics.

What are the factors that cause AMR? 

  • Over-prescription of Antibiotics: Frequently prescribing antibiotics for conditions that do not require them, such as viral infections, accelerates the emergence of resistance.
  • Incomplete Treatment Courses: Patients not completing their antibiotic courses as prescribed can leave surviving bacteria that adapt to become resistant.
  • Self-Medication: Individuals using antibiotics without a prescription, especially in regions where they are available over the counter, increases misuse and drives resistance.
  • Lack of New Antibiotics: The slow pace of new antibiotic development fails to keep up with the rate of bacterial evolution, reducing effective treatment options.
  • Hospital Settings: Hospitals are critical hotspots for the spread of resistant infections due to the high use of antibiotics and the concentration of vulnerable patients with open wounds, invasive devices, and weakened immune systems.
  • Global Travel: International travel allows for the rapid spread of resistant mutant strains between communities and across borders.

India’s efforts to combat AMR:

National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR)
  • Launched in 2017, this 5-year plan involves multiple ministries to tackle AMR across human, animal, and environmental sectors.
  • Focuses on enhancing awareness, surveillance, infection prevention, optimizing antimicrobial use, promoting research, and fostering international collaborations.
New Delhi Declaration on AMR
  • Adopted in 2023 at the G20 Summit.
  • It emphasizes strengthening surveillance, regulating antibiotic sales, and boosting research for new treatments and diagnostics in the South-East Asia Region.
National Anti-Microbial Resistance Research and Surveillance Network
  • Established under the Indian Council of Medical Research to monitor AMR trends through a network of laboratories across India.
National Programme on Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Initiated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to enhance AMR surveillance, infection control, and antimicrobial stewardship in healthcare facilities.
Red Line Campaign
  • Started in 2016, it raises awareness about the irrational use of antibiotics.
  • Medicines marked with a red line on their packaging are prescription-only, aiming to reduce misuse and over-the-counter sales.
National One Health Program for Prevention and Control of Zoonoses
  • Launched in 2019, this program uses a multi-sectoral approach to strengthen responses to zoonotic diseases, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

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