Antibiotic resistance ‘urgent’ global threat
Drug-resistant superbugs are as big a threat as climate change, the health secretary will say as he unveils a new five-year plan to tackle the problem.
Overuse of antibiotics is making infections harder to treat and leading to thousands of deaths a year through drug-resistant superbugs.
The government plans to change the way it funds drug companies to encourage them to develop new medicines.
It is also increasing efforts to cut unnecessary use of the drugs.
The government’s plan aims to control and contain antimicrobial resistance – a term that covers drug resistance in bacteria, viruses, parasites and other infections – by 2040, and reduce the use of antibiotics in humans by 15% over the next five years.
It also plans to cut antibiotic use in animals by 25% from 2016 levels by next year.