Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) currently claims 25,000 lives in the EU every year and 700,000 worldwide, but is projected to become a bigger killer than cancer by 2050, unless drastic action is taken.
Curbing the irresponsible use of antibiotics is a vital part of this struggle. Overuse of antibiotics speeds up the development of resistant strains of bacteria and renders the drugs less effective, which experts warn puts the very foundations of our medical system at risk.
According to the European Consumer Organisation BEUC, the problem of resistance to antibiotic drugs is growing at such a rate that even routine infections could become deadly in the next 20 years.
In a paper, BEUC said that without antibiotics, “therapies such as stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplantation, cancer chemotherapy as well as therapies weakening the immune system (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis treatments), would be impossible”.