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BIVDA briefing: Priorities and Next Steps for Tackling AMR in the UK

By January 31, 2024No Comments

Executive summary

There is an underestimation by the public, and general lack of awareness of AMR infections and the risk. It is a major problem already in medicine with 5M deaths due to AMR infections per year (globally) and predicted to reach 10M by 2050 and cost $100 Trillion, hugely dwarfing COVID. The meeting reviewed progress within the UK and internationally on tackling AMR. This included discussion of the use of diagnostics.

The new UK AMR Strategy (2024-2029) will publish in Spring. It will include measured outcomes and targets for improving antimicrobial use. It will also highlight a research framework. Diagnostics will be included in the strategy. Meeting attendees highlighted the need for POCT diagnostic use to help reduce antimicrobial prescribing.

High risk patient groups for AMR were highlighted in this meeting as Cystic Fibrosis patients and Cancer patients. The Fleming Institute continues its development and has rapid diagnostics as well as public engagement as major parts of the strategy for AMR.

NHS England continues with its work looking at AMR diagnostics for blood culture/sepsis; UTI; RTI; and surgical site infection (SSI). They are finalising clinical pathway analysis, now moving to look at TPPs. A framework for implementation was highlighted as needed, and an improved way to determine cost effectiveness.

A case study for POC CRP was presented from Greater Manchester ICB, highlighting the successful implementation and the large number of benefits including reducing antimicrobial prescribing, patient education and the cost benefits to the healthcare system not normally captured such as improved self-care, appointments no longer made (due to education), avoiding repeat visits. Funding and incentives remain an issue for greater roll out of the test.

The issue of bringing new innovations to the market was highlighted both by diagnostic and antimicrobial producing SMEs. There is a need for new approaches to streamline and speed innovation translation to healthcare use.

Veterinary diagnostics uptake has increased to support prudent use of antimicrobials. Research is using AI and Genomics to help identify novel solutions also in this field.

An international progress update was presented and there are plans for a high-level UN meeting on AMR later in 2024.

Dawn