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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has profound consequences for the treatment of infections. By limiting treatment options, it often makes it necessary to resort to antibiotics with a broader spectrum of action some of which are potentially less effective or safe than narrow-spectrum antibiotics. This limitation in our ability to treat infections effectively has an impact on health care budgets but also broader and potentially disastrous consequences on a variety of economic sectors. This chapter provides an overview of the health and economic burden of AMR. It first presents the current state of knowledge on the epidemiology of AMR and discusses the main analytical challenges in determining the current and long-term effects of resistance on populations in terms of morbidity, mortality, and length of hospital stay. In addition, a summary of the current literature on the economic impact of AMR is provided along with a detailed discussion of the characteristics and limitations of existing economic models. Finally, it identifies the main knowledge gaps and suggests avenues for future research and approaches to address them.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a biological mechanism whereby a micro-organism evolves over time to develop the ability to become resistant to antimicrobial therapies such as antibiotics. The drivers of and potential solutions to AMR are complex, often spanning multiple sectors. The internationally recognised response to AMR advocates for a 'One Health' approach, which requires policies to be developed and implemented across human, animal, and environmental health. To date, misaligned economic incentives have slowed the development of novel antimicrobials and limited efforts to reduce antimicrobial usage. However, the research which underpins the variety of policy options to tackle AMR is rapidly evolving across multiple disciplines such as human medicine, veterinary medicine, agricultural sciences, epidemiology, economics, sociology and psychology. By bringing together in one place the latest evidence and analysing the different facets of the complex problem of tackling AMR, this book offers an accessible summary for policy-makers, academics and students on the big questions around AMR policy.
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