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  Business   ‘Superbugs’ force antibiotic clean-up

‘Superbugs’ force antibiotic clean-up

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Sep 21, 2016, 12:13 am IST
Updated : Sep 21, 2016, 12:13 am IST

Thirteen leading drugmakers like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday have promised to curb the overuse of antibiotics and clean up pollution from factories making antibiotics as part of a drive to f

Thirteen leading drugmakers like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline on Tuesday have promised to curb the overuse of antibiotics and clean up pollution from factories making antibiotics as part of a drive to fight the rise of drug-resistant ‘superbugs.’

Independent experts are expected to help them to set new factory standards and review supply chains to ensure there is no residue waste that could breed superbugs.

This is part of the of the WHO campaign and this undertaking by Indian companies coincides with a high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance as part of the UN General Assembly in New York.

According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.

It has posed a danger to the treatment of HIV.

Globally, 4,80,000 people develop multi-drug resistant TB each year, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, it says.

The WHO also points out that the cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for patients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, additional tests and use of more expensive drugs.

Earlier this year Bloomberg reported that 85 companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Merck in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, biotech and generic sectors, along with nine industry associations signed The Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. They were part of a large group of health-care companies that “would accelerate the development of drugs and diagnostics for “superbug” infections, trying to come up with a viable commercial model as an increasing number of bacteria become resistant to common antibiotics.”

The other companies among the 13 that have signed up to the scheme include leaders in both branded and generic drug production like Merck, Novartis, Allergan and Indian drug makers Cipla and Wockhardt.