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Infect Dis (Auckl). 2018 Apr 11;11:1178633718767887. doi: 10.1177/1178633718767887. eCollection 2018.

Global Governance Mechanisms to Address Antimicrobial Resistance.

Author information

1
Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.
2
UHC and Health Systems, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
3
AMR Secretariat, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Since their discovery, antibiotics, and more broadly, antimicrobials, have been a cornerstone of modern medicine. But the overuse and misuse of these drugs have led to rising rates of antimicrobial resistance, which occurs when bacteria adapt in ways that render antibiotics ineffective. A world without effective antibiotics can have drastic impacts on population health, global development, and the global economy. As a global common good, antibiotic effectiveness is vulnerable to the tragedy of the commons, where a shared limited resource is overused by a community when each individual exploits the finite resource for their own benefit. A borderless threat like antimicrobial resistance requires global governance mechanisms to mitigate its emergence and spread, and it is the responsibility of all countries and relevant multilateral organizations. These mechanisms can be in the form of legally binding global governance mechanisms such as treaties and regulatory standards or nonbinding mechanisms such as political declarations, resolutions, or guidelines. In this article, we argue that while both are effective methods, the strong, swift, and coordinated action needed to address rising rates of antimicrobial resistance will be better served through legally binding governance mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:

AMR; Antimicrobial resistance; global governance; legally binding mechanisms; non-binding mechanisms

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of conflicting interests:The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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