Las consecuencias económicas de la resistencia a los medicamentos

LONDRES – Cuando el Primer Ministro británico David Cameron me pidió en julio que encabezara una iniciativa para encontrar soluciones al creciente problema global de la resistencia antimicrobiana, mi primera pregunta fue: “¿Y qué es eso?” Pronto aprendí que, a medida que las bacterias y los parásitos desarrollan resistencias a los medicamentos actuales, como los antibióticos y antipalúdicos, el mundo se halla en riesgo de perder la batalla contra las enfermedades infecciosas. Así que mi siguiente pregunta fue: “¿Por qué yo? ¿No sería mejor un científico?”

Resulta ser que el problema de la creciente resistencia antimicrobiana gira tanto en torno a la economía como a la ciencia o la medicina. Si no se le hace frente, acabará causando la muerte de millones de personas al año, con graves consecuencias económicas para el planeta. El riesgo es especialmente grande para las economías en desarrollo, como la mayor parte de los países agrupados bajo las siglas BRIC (Brasil, Rusia, India y China) y MINT (México, Indonesia, Nigeria y Turquía).

Los estudios que recientemente ha realizado un comité independiente sobre resistencia antimicrobiana, que presido, han simulado el probable impacto de este fenómeno sobre la economía mundial: los resultados sugieren que, si no lo abordamos hoy, no hará más que empeorar.

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