The increase in incidence of drug-resistant pathology and the absence of new drugs being developed by big pharma coupled with the long lag time in getting a new mechanism of action drug from early stage development to launch, has led many forums to warn that the world is on the edge of a major Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis.
According to the CDC, at least two million people p.a. in the US acquire serious bacterial infections that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics, and each year, over 20,000 patients in the US die from such infections. In the European Union, the annual burden posed by resistant healthcare associated bacterial infections is approximately 2.5 million hospital days and 25,000 deaths. Similar problems exist throughout the world, and the World Health Organization has declared antibiotic resistance a threat to global health security. The CDC estimates that the excess current annual cost resulting from these infections in the United States is as high as $20 billion.
On 1st December 2017, the UK's Office for National Statistics - ONS reported that antibiotic resistance has caused a fall in life expectancy for the first time. ONS said that "less optimistic views" about the future had to be taken into account citing fears of the "re-emergence of existing diseases and increases in anti-microbial resistance" as reasons why people will not live as long as was previously expected.