Prof. Colin Garner, Antibiotic Research UK Chief Executive, Comment on O'Neill Report

Professor Colin Garner, chief executive at Antibiotic Research UK, the world's first charity established to fight antimicrobial resistance through the development of new antibiotics and awareness, welcomes the AMR review by Lord O'Neill but has concerns around the global focus of the report because it might slow down the progress of antibiotic development. He would also have liked to see more encouragement or aid for the Third Sector, and its work to educate the public and help develop new treatments, covered in the report.


Antibiotic Research UK

Professor Garner says of the O’Neill report: ‘I am delighted to read the release, coinciding with the publication of the Final Report from Lord Jim O’Neill’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. The team has done a fantastic job in providing a holistic view of the problem, highlighting the global economic and health impact of antibiotic resistance, as well as raising the profile of resistance.

‘However, looking at the problem globally has its drawbacks since monies must be found from many different sources to enact the recommendations, which takes time to do. Our charity is focussed on tackling the resistance problem nationally, rather than globally, and it would have been good to see recommendations for new UK funds or government action which would tackle the current problem in the UK. Antibiotic stewardship programmes are commencing in hospitals and general practice, which is to be welcomed, but much more needs to be done.

‘The report is also very focussed on governments and the pharmaceutical industry solving the problem, but it would have been nice to see more about how the Third Sector has a role to play. The Third Sector is still yet to be recognised as an important part of fighting antibiotic resistance, yet with its not-for-profit ethos, open access, and direct links with the public, professionals and patients, charities like ANTRUK could be integral to finding a solution to antibiotic resistance. It is fantastic that the O’Neill team have highlighted the challenges we face, but now we need to see action – we are ready.’


In 2010, Emily was told that a bug had grown in her urine culture. It was called ESBL E.coli and has caused resistance to certain antibiotics.

Now, each time she gets a UTI, her antibiotic sensitivity chart changes, which means a decreasing number of antibiotics can help get rid of the infection. This means that every time she gets an infection, she is admitted to hospital. If not treated correctly or quick enough, this can cause the infection to get to her kidneys and even cause septicemia or death. Emily fears the day that the chart says ‘resistant to all’.

Emily says: “Since becoming a mum, there is no greater fear than the thought of not being there for your child as they grow up. With every sting and every pain, my heart sinks at the thought of how many antibiotics I have left to use this time. I’m a young mum, a fiancée, a daughter, a granddaughter and have had the struggle of living with a resistance to antibiotics for nearly 8 years of my life. This has affected each and every person around me. There is a clear need for new antibiotics.”

Professor Garner says: "Emily is not alone and new antibiotics are needed to treat these bugs. If we can’t treat them, we will face a serious crisis in modern day medicine.”


Source: Antibiotic Research UK



Prof. Colin Garner, Antibiotic Research UK Chief Executive, Comment on O'Neill Report

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