WHO develops policy to fight drug resistance

The World Health Organization has developed a six point policy package to fight drug resistance amid threats that antibiotics and other essential medicines may lose their power to cure disease.
The WHO warned that the world may already be returning to a time when there were no effective drug treatments for many infections, which is the result of the misuse and irrational use of drugs – a driver of drug resistance, Scoop New Zealand reports.
At the third annual meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in Manila, the Philippines, the member states vowed to take immediate action to improve their response to the increasing problem of drug resistance in areas where action has been inadequate.
The policy package adopted by the committee includes fostering innovation and research to develop new tools and drugs, enhancing infection prevention and control, promoting the rational use of medicines in patient care and animal husbandry, ensuring uninterrupted access to essential medicines of guaranteed quality, strengthening surveillance and laboratory capacity, and committing to develop a master plan to combat antimicrobial resistance.
“The misuse and irrational use of drugs are weakening the fight against diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, that should have been contained decades ago,” Dr. Shin Young-soo, the WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said, according to Scoop New Zealand. “At the same time, other age-old diseases are on the rise, with the possibility of no cure."
The package seeks to engage all of the WHO's 194 member states and the global health community to promote action for change. Antimicrobial resistance represents both a medical and financial catastrophe because second-line treatments are much more expensive.