Un appel aux armes antimicrobiennes

JAKARTA – En décembre, j’ai publié les premières conclusions du Comité d’étude sur la résistance aux antimicrobiens que je dirige. Les nouvelles ne sont pas bonnes : les infections résistantes revendiquent chaque année plus de 700 000 décès. À moins d’agir, la résistance aux antimicrobiens causera la mort de dix millions de personnes par an en 2050 – soit un chiffre supérieur à celui des décès dus au cancer. Ce qui entraînera aussi un coût cumulé d’au moins 100 mille milliards de dollars, soit une fois et demi le PIB mondial annuel.

Les efforts pour combattre ce danger sont insuffisants. Le monde doit impérativement concevoir de nouvelles molécules pour remplacer les antibiotiques, les traitements anti-malaria, les anti-rétroviraux du sida, les traitements du VIH, et les traitements contre la tuberculose, dont l’efficacité est en recul. Mais nous n’investissons pas assez dans la recherche et le développement. Il faut absolument trouver de nouvelles sources de soutien financier pour les chercheurs universitaires et les petites entreprises dont les découvertes sont à la base des médicaments de demain.

C’est pourquoi j’en appelle aux donneurs internationaux – qu’ils soient philanthropes ou gouvernementaux – pour qu’ils travaillent avec le Comité d’étude sur la résistance aux antimicrobiens afin de créer un nouveau fonds de soutien à la recherche et au développement dans ce domaine important. Le fonds accordera des subventions pour la recherche fondamentale et fonctionnera comme un incubateur à but non lucratif pour les découvertes prometteuses. Dans les mois à venir, le Comité déterminera les détails qui permettront un fonctionnement efficace d’un tel fonds.

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