PerspectiveImmune to drugs: Antimicrobial resistance could kill 10 million a year

Published 28 May 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contends that, “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time.” Annually, at least 700,000 people die from drug-resistant diseases, and that number is expected to increase to 10 million deaths per year by 2050 if nothing is done. In the U.S., antimicrobial resistance causes more than 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths per year – the equivalent of a Boeing 747 crashing each week. Nicole Fisher writes in Forbes that at present, the incentives to get something done are so misaligned, that in addition to the personal tragedies, there are other frightening possibilities. For example, experts note that “without immediate global action, the crisis of drug resistance bacteria and viruses could lead to an economic catastrophe as bad as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, and by 2030 could force as many as 24 million people into poverty.”