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$40bn needed to tackle antibiotic resistance, report warns

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James Mccullough
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Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Mrsa Bacteria

Pharmaceutical companies and governments need to provide $40 billion £27.32bn to help tackle deaths caused by antibiotic resistance, a major review has urged.

Lord Jim O'Neill, who has led an 18 month research group on drug resistance, has said people should stop treating antibiotics as "sweets" as he presented the findings of his work.

The antimicrobial resistance AMR review has put forward 29 recommendations to combat deaths caused by the growing threat.

To aid the development of new antibiotics, O'Neill proposed that pharmaceutical companies should contribute to the costs of measures to tackle the problems.

He said there should be a "surcharge on the rest of the industry that chooses not to play" and that "we think that is an option that should be given serious attention from policy makers".

By 2020 there should be ways for trained specialists, although not necessarily doctors, to be able to diagnose someone through their DNA using smartphones or other handheld devices, added O'Neill.

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