Combat drug resistance: no action today means no cure tomorrow

Source: World Health Organization, April 2011 

In a statement for World Health Day, the World Health Organization’s Director-General, Margaret Chan, expressed her concerns about antibiotics losing their ability to cure diseases. There has been a quick rise and spread of drug-resistant pathogens, primarily due to overuse of antibiotics—medicines are given out liberally or to “be on the safe side.”

The underuse and misuse of medicines also are to blame since people stop treatment(s) sooner than they should, and/or they are misdiagnosed and given drugs for the wrong disease. The speed at which medicines are losing their effect is faster than the time it would take to create replacement drugs, increasing the risk of a global disease crisis. Taking action today to slow drug resistance is necessary for preventing the loss of cures in the future.