A recent review commissioned by the UK government has made some glaring exposures about the drug-resistant superbugs.
According to the study, these superbugs could kill an additional 10 million people per year imposing a health care cost of up to USD 100 trillion by 2050 if their rampant spread worldwide is not checked.
While briefing the media and the experts in London, lead study investigator and former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill said, “Unless something is done by 2050, that number could become 10 million people losing their lives each year from then onwards.”
According to Jim O’Neill, nearly 50,000 people currently die each year in the US and Europe from the infections caused by superbug forms of bacteria like E.coli.
“The importance of effective antimicrobial drugs cannot be overplayed. Such infections already kill hundreds of thousands of people a year and the trend is growing,” said the review.
Antimicrobial drugs include antibiotics, antiparasitics, antivirals, and antifungals- all meant for fighting infections.
Two sets of researchers, RAND and KPMG, carried the analysis to prepare an in-depth review of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Both the researchers group estimated the futuristic impact of AMR under varied scenarios for six common infections — HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and three bacterial infections.
The medical science is facing severe challenge from the certain infections that have developed resistance to antimicrobial drugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also cautioned against a post-antibiotic era when the basic healthcare will become very dangerous due to the high infection risk during routine operations. According to the WHO, that era could arrive this century if something big is not done to check it.
Observing the threatening impact of these superbugs on the country’s health care, British Prime Minister David Cameron in July asked O’Neill to take a view of the problem from the global economist.
The current review is the first of several more studies, which are due next year and a final report scheduled to be published in 2016.