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Media - published on 21 Jan 2020

Lack of antibiotics in low income countries 'worsening superbugs threat'

Julia Kollewe of The Guardian covers the findings of the 2020 Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark, honing in the lack of antibiotics available to poorer countries despite higher infection rates. 

 The article begins with a snapshot into the lack of access to antibacterial and antifungal medicines in low- to middle-income countries:

In less wealthy countries, when the best antibiotics are unavailable, doctors are often forced to use inferior drugs or delay treatment, leading to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. 

The author then highlights that, of the 13 newly developed antibiotics reported, only three are available in 10 or more of the world’s 102 low- and middle-income countries, with many older, but still effective antibiotics also unavailable.

In response to the lack of access, Jayasree K Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation, stressed the need for companies and public sector organisations to work together to combat the rise of superbugs, and held up a subscription-based “Netflix model” as a way of spurring on drugmakers to invest more in new treatments.

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