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Collaboration to fight drug resistance

Indiscriminate use of antimicrobials leads to problems with resistant pathogens


Seven pharmaceutical companies—including some large ones, such as GSK, MSD, and Pfizer—have pledged to share surveillance data on the Antimicrobial Resistance Register (AMR), launched in late June by nonprofit data-sharing and analysis organization Vivli. The objective is to make the data, usually restricted to use by the companies in question, available to scientists around the world to help combat the problem. Resistance to antimicrobials (antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antiparasitics) is one of the biggest threats to global public health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Indiscriminate use of these drugs can lead to the emergence of resistant pathogens. The outcome is that hundreds of thousands of people (estimates range from 800,000 to 1.3 million, depending on the source) die as a result of antimicrobial resistance every year (SciDevNet, July 8).