Multidisciplinary perspectives on AMR and the Pandemic Instrument 

What do researchers from the disciplines of law, anthropology, history, public health, public policy, economics, and veterinary medicine contribute to the debate about addressing AMR in the pandemic instrument? Explore this special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.

Researchers

Andrea Morales Caceres, Michele Palkovits, Safaa Yaseen

Collaborating Researchers
Kerstin Åkerfeldt, Otto Cars, Sujith J Chandy, Guilherme Costa, Bruno Gonzalez-Zorn, Laura Y Hardefeldt, Claas Kirchhelle, Kathy Liddell, Jorge Matheu, Timo Minssen, Gerard Moulin, Mirfin Mpundu, Kevin Outterson, Stephen W. Page, Stephanie Palmer, Arturo Quizhpe Peralta, Scott Podolsky, Mengying Ren, Ruby Singh, Kshitij Kumar Singh, Anna Karin Sjöblom, Anthony D So, Junxia Song, Olafur Valsson, Jorge Viñuales, J Scott Weese

 

In the wake of COVID-19, the WHO established an Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) to negotiate a new instrument for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. Despite initial calls for a broad scope — recognizing that pandemics and other major health emergencies require One Health international cooperation — the working draft of the text released in July 2022 was limited in scope. It limited pandemic preparedness efforts to emerging viral diseases such as COVID-19 but did not address other bacterial and fungal pandemic threats including antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

Researchers and academics from across many fields of study were concerned about this important omission. This concern led to the March 2023 symposium issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME), titled “Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance through the Proposed Pandemic Instrument “. This special issue, edited by the AMR Policy Accelerator’s Dr. Susan Rogers Van Katwyk and Dr. Steven J. Hoffman and Boston University’s Dr. Kevin Outtersen, brought together leading policy research experts from around the world to explain and advocate for how and why AMR should be addressed in the Pandemic Instrument.  

Click on the titles below for sample articles or click on the project outputs below to access the complete open-source symposium issue. An accompanying webinar can also be accessed, moderated by Kevin Outtersen and featuring panelists Professor Sabiha Essack (UKZN), Mirfin Mpundu (ReACT), Shajoe Lake (AMR Policy Accelerator) and Dr. Susan Rogers Van Katwyk. 

Sample articles

A Pandemic Instrument Can Start Turning Collective Problems into Collective Solutions by Governing the Common-Pool Resource of Antimicrobial Effectiveness

To address the complex challenge of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a pandemic treaty should include mechanisms that 1) equitably address the access gap for antimicrobials, diagnostic technologies, and alternative therapies; 2) equitably conserve antimicrobials to sustain effectiveness and access across time and space; 3) equitably finance the investment, discovery, development, and distribution of new technologies; and 4) equitably finance and establish greater upstream and midstream infection prevention measures globally. Biodiversity, climate, and nuclear governance offer lessons for addressing these challenges.

Adopting a Global AMR Target within the Pandemic Instrument Will Act as a Catalyst for Action

Ensuring that life-saving antimicrobials remain available as effective treatment options in the face of rapidly rising levels of antimicrobial resistance will require a massive and coordinated global effort. Setting a collective direction for progress is the first step towards aligning global efforts on AMR. This process would be greatly accelerated by adopting a unifying global target — a well-defined global target that unites all countries and sectors. We propose three key characteristics of a unifying global target for AMR that — if embedded within the pandemic preparedness instrument — could rally public support, funding, and political commitment commensurate with the scale of the AMR challenge.

Next

August 17, 2023

Learning from climate governance