As consequências económicas da resistência aos medicamentos

LONDRES – Quando o Primeiro-Ministro britânico David Cameron me pediu, em Julho, para liderar uma acção com vista a encontrar soluções para o crescente problema global da resistência antimicrobiana, a minha primeira pergunta foi: "O que é isso?" Depressa percebi que, à medida que as bactérias e os parasitas desenvolvem resistência aos medicamentos existentes, como os antibióticos e os medicamentos antimaláricos, o mundo corre o risco de perder a sua batalha contra as doenças infecciosas. Assim, a minha pergunta seguinte foi: "Por que razão eu? Não será necessário um cientista?"

Acontece que o problema do aumento da resistência antimicrobiana tem tanto a ver com a economia como com a ciência ou a medicina. Se nada for feito, causará a morte de milhões de pessoas todos os anos e terá graves consequências económicas para o mundo. Para as economias em desenvolvimento, incluindo a maior parte dos países BRIC (Brasil, Rússia, Índia e China) e MINT (México, Indonésia, Nigéria e Turquia), o risco é particularmente elevado.

Uma investigação levada a cabo recentemente através de um estudo independente de avaliação da resistência antimicrobiana, sob a minha coordenação, delineou o provável impacto do fenómeno na economia mundial. O estudo sugere que, se não formos capazes de enfrentar a resistência antimicrobiana, o problema irá agravar-se.

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