[Activity Report] New Policy Briefs on the Situation of AMR in Japan and Abroad (November 20, 2020)
date : 11/20/2020
Antimicrobials are a foundational pillar of modern medicine. Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antimicrobials have been used across the world to save countless lives from infectious diseases and supported the treatment of non-communicable diseases as well.
However, as humanity uses antimicrobials more and more, the microorganisms that cause infectious diseases adapt, and grow resistant to treatment. This naturally occurring process is called “antimicrobial resistance” (AMR). Without serious action to combat the spread of AMR, we could face a situation in which many people once again die from currently treatable diseases.
Already, in Japan, it is estimated that as many as 8,000 people die every year of AMR-related causes, double the amount of people who die annually from traffic accidents. In comparison, as of November 17, 2020, a total of 1,913 people have passed away in Japan from COVID-19. Looking globally, it is estimated that AMR leads to the death of as many as 700,000 people annually. If trends continue, by 2050, as many as 10 million people could potentially die of AMR-related causes globally every year.
To combat this issue, in April 2016, Japan enacted a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, and has been promoting AMR-related measures ever since. Sensing the growing urgency of this issue, HGPI too has been pursuing policy action on this topic since 2016. In November 2018, HGPI partnered with academic societies working in infectious disease medicine, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device makers, to establish AMR Alliance Japan, an independent platform for the promotion of multisector discussion on AMR countermeasures.
In this 2020, AMR Alliance Japan released “Recommendations Toward the Next National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance” calling on the Japanese Government to take certain steps as it develops its next National Action Plan on AMR from 2021. This work has been followed up by recommendations on the domestic AMR surveillance system, recommendations on the need for a pull incentive to stimulate antimicrobial development, and the development of proposals toward the revision of the medical fee system in order to incentivize antimicrobial stewardship. The Alliance has also worked to collect and produce reference materials for policymakers and the public in order to promote greater understanding of this topic.
World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) is taking place around the world from November 18, 2020 to November 24, 2020. Furthermore, November is Antibiotic Awareness Month in Japan. To help encourage greater awareness of AMR, AMR Alliance Japan has recently released seven new policy briefs on important topics in AMR countermeasures.
Policy Brief Themes:
- Promoting antimicrobial stewardship based on the actual situation at healthcare facilities
- Constructing domestic AMR surveillance and crisis management systems
- Enabling the further and active use of AMR screening methods and rapid diagnostic technology
- Supporting education on AMR for the public and medical practitioners
- Establishing incentive models to encourage R&D for antimicrobials
- Stabilizing the supply of antimicrobials
- International collaborations to share case studies and lessons learned about AMR.
It is hoped that these briefs will encourage greater understanding of AMR countermeasures toward the development of an even stronger national and global policies on AMR.
■About AMR Alliance Japan
AMR Alliance Japan is an independent platform for multisector discussion with the mission of contributing to the improvement of public health by promoting measures on AMR. The Alliance was established in November 2018 by a coalition of Japanese academic societies working in infectious disease medicine as well as pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Current members include, in alphabetical order: Japan Medical Association, Japan Pharmaceutical Association, Japan Society of Hospital Pharmacists, MSD K .K., Nippon Becton Dickinson and Company, Ltd., Pfizer Japan Inc., Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Shiro Shoni Iryo Mamoro Kodomo-tachi no Kai, The Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases, The Japanese Society for Chemotherapy, The Japanese Society for Clinical Microbiology, The Japanese Society for Infection Prevention and Control, The Japanese Society for Medical Mycology, The Japanese Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, The Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Healthcare and Sciences, The Japanese Society of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. The Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) serves as Secretariat of the Alliance.