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TGA joins ICMRA campaign against antimicrobial resistance

19 November 2019

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has joined the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a coordinated global approach to fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

ICMRA is an international alliance of the leaders of medicines regulatory agencies that addresses global regulatory challenges. The TGA is the Vice-Chair of ICMRA and leads the pharmacovigilance working group.

For World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 18 to 24 November 2019, ICMRA members will raise awareness of the growing public health problem of AMR through coordinated communication activities, such as letters to stakeholders and social media.

Antimicrobials are essential to the delivery of modern healthcare. The WHO has declared AMR, which includes resistance to antibiotics, to be one of the top ten threats to global public health. Antimicrobial-resistant infections are becoming more frequent and increasingly difficult to treat. Left unchecked, many treatable infections could become untreatable.

Without action, it is estimated that AMR could be the cause of 10 million deaths each year, as well as an annual loss of economic output of USD $100 trillion by 2050.

The TGA and ICMRA call for the global community to preserve the antimicrobials currently available, and to promote the development of innovative new diagnostics and treatments.

As outlined in ICMRA's July 2019 antimicrobial resistance statement (pdf,185kb), non-regulatory stakeholders, such as the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare professionals, global health leaders, researchers and media can contribute to the fight against AMR in the following ways:

  • Industry leaders can increase their collective investment in research and development.
  • Healthcare practitioners (human and animal health) can prioritise appropriate use of antimicrobials and incorporate responsible antimicrobial prescribing principles into clinical practice.
  • Global health leaders can come together with industry to determine the most effective way to address economic issues surrounding new product development to incentivise innovation.
  • Researchers can continue research in all aspects of AMR, including monitoring of effectiveness of antimicrobial agents and active surveillance of emerging AMR.
  • Media can keep AMR at the forefront of the news cycle to help increase public awareness of this issue.

ICMRA has sent official letters to key international stakeholders urging them to join this global effort. These stakeholders include G7/G20, OECD, UN, World Bank, WHO, public/private partnerships such as CARB-x and Drive-AB, and regional and international harmonisation initiatives.

We all have a responsibility to combat antimicrobial resistance. Through ICMRA, the TGA will explore ways to work with stakeholders to find safe, effective, and innovative solutions to the challenges of AMR.

Visit the International web page for more information on our activities and cooperation with overseas regulators and organisations.

The TGA will raise awareness of AMR on the TGA website, TGA Facebook and TGA Twitter.