New five-year action plan for antimicrobial resistance announced

News -

The Department of Health and Social Care have today published their new five year National Action Plan for antimicrobial resistance (2024-2029).

What is antimicrobial resistance (AMR)?

As bugs that cause infections continue to evolve, they become resistant to antimicrobial medicines and then these medicines are no longer work or are effective as treatment. This is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and it’s one of the top ten global health threats. This is a particular concern for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), as effective medicines are vital for treating lung infections. We also know that reducing the negative effects of antibiotics, such as AMR, is a research priority for people with CF and their families. 

What is the new National Action Plan for antimicrobial resistance?

The plan aims to take control and contain AMR by 2040, building on the successes of the last five year plan. This includes four key themes:

  • Reducing the need for, and unintentional exposure to, antimicrobials
  • Optimising the use of antimicrobials
  • Investing in innovation, supply, and access
  • Being a good global partner

These four themes have a total of nine strategic outcomes which include:

  • infection prevention and management
  • public engagement and education
  • development of new approaches to diagnose and treat infections
  • identifying health disparities and where the burden of AMR is greatest
  • the use of diplomacy to contribute to worldwide action on AMR

It’s great to see the control of antimicrobial resistance being made a priority. While AMR is a concern for us all, people living with cystic fibrosis (CF) are particularly vulnerable which is why the CF AMR Syndicate, a partnership between Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Medicines Discovery Catapult and LifeArc, aims to speed up the discovery process for new antimicrobials and diagnostics for CF infections. There’s still so much more to do to stop cystic fibrosis damaging and shortening lives, and the new AMR action plan is an important step on that journey.

Dr Lucy Allen, Director of Research and Healthcare Data at Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Click here to find out more about the CF AMR Syndicate

Image of Ana on beachAna, who has CF: "Having cystic fibrosis meant I was receiving intravenous antibiotics on a regular basis growing up. I was trained by my specialist CF team how to administrator the antibiotics IVs myself at home. At the beginning a 14 day course of antibiotics worked extremely quickly and within 5 days I was better from my chest infection. 

As the years progressed my intravenous treatments became longer and longer, up to 5 weeks at a time. They weren't as effective anymore and unfortunately I was needing another course again within 4 weeks. This resulted in me no longer having any antibiotics that worked and my treatments failing. I was very ill all the time. This was one of the contributing reasons for having a double lung transplant"

Read Ana's story here

Lizzy and IsaacLizzy, whose son Isaac has CF: “My son was first diagnosed as having grown Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in his lungs when he was just 18 months old. Since that time, it’s been an unwanted and persistent presence, and he was soon considered colonised with this bacteria. Despite ongoing daily nebulisers, numerous courses of both oral and intravenous antibiotics, it never leaves his once perfect little lungs. Now, aged 19, we continue to battle exacerbation after exacerbation, never quite winning the fight. We desperately need more tools in our kit to continue to fight against AMR.”

Read Lizzy and Isaac's story here

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