The inappropriate use of antibiotics and other medicines is fuelling the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally, and is reducing the effectiveness of the few treatment options we have left to treat severe bacterial illnesses. Currently, 700,000 deaths annually are due to drug-resistant strains of common bacterial infections, HIV and malaria and it is estimated that by 2050, 10 million deaths will be caused by AMR each year.
Addressing the spread of AMR is essential to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) like good health and well-being (SDG 3) and has been a key priority for the global health community and political stakeholders. Diagnostics have a critical role across the entire Global Action Plan on AMR and as the ‘first prescription’ have proven their ability to save the global good, patient health and economic resources.
In line with the WHO Framework to Combat AMR, FIND will develop integrated responses to the main barriers that are affecting the ability of diagnostic solutions to achieve impact:
- Development of “fit-for-purpose” diagnostics: Develop prioritized diagnostics strategies with WHO, create supporting services, e.g., virtual bio-repositories and steward the R&D pipeline for prioritized needs.
- Evidence for policies and guidance on use: Provide evidence on new tests for WHO- prioritized needs, expand ReSeq TB database to AMR as the basis for sequencing-based surveillance and develop decision aid packages combining algorithms, software and simple diagnostics.
- Country introduction and scaled access: Understand markets and motivators for behaviour change, apply connectivity learnings to AMR for patient management and surveillance and define and implement replicable diagnostic service delivery models, including financing and procurement mechanisms.
FIND’s strategic approach
FIND’s AMR strategy is focused on halting and preventing AMR by:
- Optimizing use of antimicrobials: The overuse of antibiotics is often linked to their use in non-bacterial infections, e.g., in patients presenting with acute fever, lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted infections or diarrhoea. Diagnosis enables the selection of the most appropriate therapy and reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
- Preserving new drugs: Stewardship of current and new antibiotics is critical to ensure they retain their efficacy for as long as possible. Early introduction of a gating diagnostic will ensure that these drugs are used in the most appropriate cases, shielding them from rapid overuse and early emergence of resistance.
- Supporting surveillance efforts: Screening and isolation of infected patients helps prevent the spread of resistant pathogens in community and hospital settings. Connected surveillance tools track and map the emergence of resistance form the basis of national surveillance programs, and enable control measures and improved treatment strategies.
AMR strategy: Accelerating Diagnostics Use to Prevent AMR