Johnson & Johnson Joins First Industry-wide Call for New Collective Action to Address Antimicrobial Resistance
More than 80 International Pharmaceutical, Generics, Diagnostics and Biotechnology Companies Agree to a Joint Declaration to Combat Rising Global Health Challenge
Johnson & Johnson today announced it has joined more than 80 companies and organizations in signing the Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), an industry-wide call to action announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The declaration outlines for the first time how industry and governments can work together to support sustained innovation to address the growing problem of AMR by which bacteria and microbes become resistant to regularly used drugs, making common yet life-threatening infections difficult or even impossible to treat.
“We are pleased to be part of this important initiative to combat antimicrobial resistance,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. “Antimicrobials are the backbone of modern medicine, and have played a key role in increasing life expectancy globally. At Johnson & Johnson, our long-standing commitment to innovation in antimicrobial R&D is evident through our legacy products and our new efforts to support ongoing research. For the world to continue to have new antibiotics, we need investments in basic science and novel incentive models for industry R&D, and to protect our existing treatments, we need new frameworks for appropriate use.”
Over the past decade, the world has witnessed an alarming increase in the number of bacteria and microbes that have become resistant to antimicrobials.
The independent UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimates that without effective global action, the rise of drug-resistant infections could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050 and result in a cumulative loss from global output of 100 trillion USD. The Declaration outlines three areas in which the companies will work to prevent and treat drug-resistant infections: reduce drug resistance through appropriate use of new and existing antibiotics; increase investment and collaboration in research and development; and improve access to high-quality antibiotics.
“Protecting public health by safeguarding our current antibiotics and developing new antibiotics or vaccines is an important priority now more than ever,” said Peter Piot, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Handa Professor of Global Health. “The emergence of so-called “superbugs,” or drug-resistant bacteria, forces our attention to the inadequacy of our therapeutic arsenals and the need for new incentive frameworks for antibiotics to stimulate the level of R&D investments so critically needed to strike back at drug-resistant infections.”
“We have experienced the challenges associated with the discovery, development, and launch of new antimicrobial therapies,” said Stoffels. “For many diseases, patients have very few options for treatment today. Therefore, safeguarding the appropriate use of current options is critical to ensure that patients do not develop resistance.”
“Collaborating with governments and other partners on challenging, yet critical global health issues is at the heart of our global public health commitment,” said Jaak Peeters, head of Johnson & Johnson’s Global Public Health organization. “We look forward to working with others on the interventions proposed in this declaration to combat AMR.”
Johnson & Johnson supports international and domestic actions to address AMR, including the U.S. National Action Plan for Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance launched in March 2015 and the recently launched U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis.