GHP January 2016

8 | ghp January 2016 AMR Diagnostics in the Lime Light JPIAMR welcomed the report, which underlines the topic of diagnostics use and development to lower antimicrobial resistance. Research mapping carried out as part of the initiative has shown that this field is underfunded. Indeed, just 1% of competi- tive national AMR funding is allocated to research projects on diagnostics and only 10% in terms of European funding, so there is a clear need for further resources. In the view of O’Neill, approximately two thirds of the total antibiotic prescriptions in the US in a given year are needlessly given to adults. Unfortunately, these prescriptions were likely to have been inef- fective in tackling the patient’s particular complaint, and they would have also each have contributed to worsening resistance, in the context of both the individual patients and wider society. With improved diagnostics hospitals will be able to diagnose patients faster, which will have numerous benefits for them and those they treat. Mats Ulfend- ahl, Chair of JPIAMR’s Management Board said: “To develop better and faster diagnostic tools, we need research. We have to collaborate across national and topical borders to prevent duplication of results and to maximise on resources. Developing private-public partnership will also play a big part. These are the cornerstones of JPIAMR.” The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance report considers: • The role that rapid diagnostics can play in improving how we use antimicrobials to treat infections better, • To slow down the rise of drug-resistance by de- creasing the over-use and misuse of medicines, especially antibiotics, and ultimately change much of the approach to treating bacterial in- fections by allowing the advent of more precise and targeted therapies. Jim O’Neill strongly suggest that the following are required: • Rapid diagnostics within 5 years in pharmacies, hospital and primary care settings globally, • To focus on the development of the correct diagnostics, • Further grant funding to companies investing in early stage and translational research and; • To support the building of hard evidence to prove that diagnostics work: including clinical, financial and operational evidence. Committed to the One Health approach, JPIAMR and MRC organised a workshop in London earlier this year, which led to key recommendations in adoption, regulation and implementation, resources and sharing and connections concerning diagnos- tics. The recommendations included: • Developing a better mechanism for advocacy; • Starting up an EU wide network for diagnostic development centres; • Centralising biobanks and; • Sponsoring multi-disciplinary activities including research. This resulted in JPIAMR funding a call for Research Networks within the area of Diagnostics in 2016. Arjon Van Hengel, Scientific Officer for Research Funding and Research Policy in the Area of AMR, European Commission, said during a podcast inter- view with JPIAMR: “We need to support research in the area [of diagnostics] to develop the proper tools and change the policy to support the uptake of diagnostics by prescribers as well as change the behaviour of prescribers.” In October 2015, the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicro- bial Resistance (JPIAMR) pointed out that Jim O’Neill, econo- mist appointed by David Cameron, published the fourth report by the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance ‘Rapid diagnostics: treating patients with infections better and more sustainably’. news