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Policy & Partnerships: Addressing AMR

Main Stage

Programming Sponsor: Merck

Programming Partner: Concordia Action Alliance



  • Dame Sally Davies launched into the discussion explaining the need for innovation, new drugs, and new diagnostics as we continue to grapple with the effects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and COVID-19. However, it is critical that these needs are distributed around the world. Arguing that this can be achieved through partnerships, Davies explained that while access is a problem in some parts of the world, over-use is also present. 

“Working together we can do this. And we bloody well need to,” Dame Sally Davies

  • The pandemic that is failing to make headlines is AMR, which is rising as COVID-19 cases continue to increase. AMR is the changing of microorganisms, in relation to antimicrobial drugs, and has become increasingly problematic. With no patient face to warn against AMR, Davies emphasized the need to rethink how resistance aligned with the health security agenda. 

“The only way to be better prepared for future pandemics is to foster increased collaboration between the private sector and academia,” Dr. Julie Gerberding

  • Dr. Julie Gerberding acknowledged that many do not understand AMR infection or have simply never heard of it being a concern. AMR is the perfect opportunity for deadly pathogens to grow and spread, and is often lost in the broad concept of COVID-19, therefore presenting itself as a national security challenge. 
  • Recognizing that each party brings something unique to the table, creating partnerships in an effort to address the emergency of AMR can create a difference.

“[AMR] is a national security challenge because almost any of the biological threats that we as a nation or a world need to prepare for will be accompanied by superbug complications, and yet our stockpiles in our pipeline of effective drugs to treat these infections is just as slim as our stockpile is for things like coronavirus,” Dr. Julie Gerberding

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Greater collaboration is needed to best prepare for future pandemics and to learn how we can recover better. Alignment between the public and private sectors is key to addressing this global security challenge.
  • Learn more here about Merck’s leadership in the AMR partnership space through their participation in the AMR Action Fund.
  • AMR is solvable but we cannot afford to wait for the post-antibiotic apocalypse. Solving AMR is a vital part of health security.


Session Speakers