Pfizer helps Indian government with antimicrobial resistance

Posted Feb 1, 2018 by Tim Sandle
The major drugs company Pfizer is working closely with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to help combat antimicrobial resistance in India. This includes establishing a center in New Delhi to develop research.
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The new venture will see health promotion feature high on the list of activities, with antimicrobial resistance stewardship programs in place. Some of the publicity will be directed towards for nursing homes, a fact based on antimicrobial resistance surveillance reports indicating that this is one area where problems can arise.
Other parts of the publicity, PharmaPhorum reports, will focus on efforts to generate awareness around the issue of antimicrobial resistance and education to encourage medical staff over the responsible prescribing and use of antibiotics.
One of the biggest health challenges facing the world’s population is the shortage of antimicrobial compounds. This has arisen for a variety of reasons, including overprescribing of antibiotics and other antimicrobials and as a consequence of bacterial resistance. Furthermore, there is the threat of newly emerging pathogens. Worryingly, the rate of people dying due to a lack of effective antimicrobials is growing; leading some microbiologists to predict that 10 million could die each year by 2050 if no new types of antimicrobials emerge.
In India the impact of antimicrobial resistance is impacting in terms of a rise infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis. These are bacterial diseases that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Finding new types of antimicrobials is one factor, a related one is limiting their use.
This is where much of the Pfizer activity comes in: the careful and controlled use of antimicrobials. To support the works, Pfizer has provided an initial grant of Rs6.97 crore ($110,000). The drugs company has said here is the potential to provide more funding as the project expands.
The new base in New Delhi is designed to function as a hub to run campaigns centered on stewardship, surveillance and awareness. As time progresses, these focal points will be expanded across the India, as a series of phases. Despite the geographic expansion the campaigns will have smaller in-patient canters like hospitals and nursing homes insight.
Pfizer will also support the training of specialists to expand the India Surveillance Network, to spread out the core messages to as many private and government hospitals as possible. To an extent, data driven analytics relating to patterns of resistance will drive this.