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5th July 2016 - Islwyn MP presses Government to take action on antibiotic resistance

Islwyn MP presses Government to take action on antibiotic resistanceThe Member of Parliament for Islwyn has used an opportunity at Health Questions to ask the Government what action they are taking to encourage the development of new antibiotics to fight the serious effects of antibiotic resistance.

Despite considerable advances in medical technologies and research in recent years, no new class of antibiotics have been developed for 25 years. Due to over-prescribing of antibiotics and use of antibiotics for farm animals, certain strains of common diseases have evolved a resistance to treatment. 

This has meant that antibiotics have lost their effectiveness which is a public health risk. According to the World Health Organisation, this resistance to antibiotics is a serious global health risk which could mean diseases such as Tuberculosis could become un-treatable.

The Minister, Jane Ellison, replied: ‘It was the Prime Minister who commissioned the independent O’Neill Review and this review is galvanising the discussion. It was the talk of the Geneva Health Assembly in May.

‘As well as Human Health, we are now working with animal health organisations as we take forward the recommendations around prescribing and the use of antibiotics as growth stimulators.’ 

Mr Evans said: ‘Drug resistant bacteria sounds like a distant problem in faraway countries but it could have real effects very close to home. Our health service has virtually eradicated tuberculosis but a drug resistant form of the disease, which is a real risk, could once again become extremely difficult to treat even here in the UK.

‘The government has to act to stop the over-use of antibiotics not just here but across the world – as this is a global problem. They must also encourage and incentivise the development of new drugs to treat bacterial infections.’

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