Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a leading global public health challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.[i] Although antibiotics are among the most important medicines the world has ever known, many are becoming ineffective as bacteria continue to evolve and become resistant.[ii]
The growing risk of AMR means that in the near future doctors may no longer be able to rely on antibiotics to treat many basic infections.[iii] The threat of AMR disproportionally affects marginalized populations in low-resource settings, leading to even greater health and economic inequity. It’s estimated that deaths caused by AMR in Africa could be more than 10x that of North America or Europe by 2050.[iv]
In many low-and middle-income countries, laboratories may lack the capacity to generate reliable microbiological data, which is critical to introducing evidence-based policies and interventions that can in turn reduce the burden of AMR, lower treatment costs and save lives.[v] A high prevalence of fake or substandard medicines in developing countries (>10%)[vi],[vii] – medicines that have too little, incorrect, or no active ingredient – also contributes to negative side effects and the potential for increased AMR.[viii]
Complex global health challenges like AMR require multi-sector collaboration and localized approaches. Pfizer is committed to working closely with partners around the world to redefine the way we fight infectious diseases, including how we address AMR, in low- and middle-income countries, delivering data-driven initiatives that help meet the needs of vulnerable communities. For example:
- In Kenya, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) – a partnership between Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi University College of Health Sciences, the Ministry of Health and a consortium of North American universities – is working to implement a comprehensive program to address infectious diseases and AMR. With support from The Pfizer Foundation, AMPATH is enhancing microbiological laboratory capacity to help generate reliable data that can be used to inform local clinical practice, training for healthcare providers, and hospital and national policy. AMPATH will work across various levels of the Kenyan healthcare system to ensure quality care for infectious diseases.[ix]
- In Ghana, PharmAccess, the Christian Health Association of Ghana, Ghana’s Food and Drug Authority (FDA), the Ministry of Health and The Pfizer Foundation are partnering to improve the quality and availability of essential infectious disease medicines through a ‘digital supply chain platform’. Through a regulated digital supply chain platform, medicine manufacturers and importers will be connected to healthcare facilities, helping ensure the availability of high-quality medicines for even the most remote and often underserved communities.[x]
- Pfizer and Wellcome recently launched the Surveillance Partnership to Improve Data for Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (SPIDAAR), a new multi-year, public-private research collaboration with the governments of Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, to help track resistance patterns and better understand the burden of AMR on patients living in these low- and middle-income countries.
These programs are some of many initiatives Pfizer and The Pfizer Foundation are supporting to fight infectious disease around the globe. Working together with governments, institutions and communities, we can continue to track and slow AMR, and create a world safer from infection.
[ii] Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. December 2014. Available at: https://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/AMR%20Review%20Paper%20-%20Tackling%20a%20crisis%20for%20the%20health%20and%20wealth%20of%20nations_1.pdf Last accessed August 2020.
[ix] “Implementing a model of improved care for infectious diseases and antibiotic stewardship across multiple levels of the health system in Western Kenya.” AMPATH concept note. July 2017.
[x] PharmAccess proposal to Pfizer Foundation: Digital Supply Chain for Medicines Platform, Ghana.