Statement 24 November 2021

Joint Statement on World Antimicrobial Awareness Week


On World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), the IAPO Patients for Patient Safety Observatory and its AMR Patient Alliance, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), responding to the call to One Health stakeholders to be Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness champions, support the 2021 theme “Spread Awareness. Stop Resistance” and call on all stakeholders to encourage best practices amongst all actors of the health system to preserve existing antimicrobials and call for policy reforms to encourage sustainable investment in new antibiotics.

The risk of increased antibiotic resistant infections or AMR is real and serious. More than 700,000 people die globally every year because they are infected with microbes – bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites – that have become resistant to most known drugs. In some of the most alarming scenarios, it is estimated that, by 2050, AMR could claim as many as 10 million lives per year and have an accumulated cost of up to $100 trillion to the global economy.

Furthermore, the global COVID-19 pandemic not only spotlighted the impact of infectious diseases on human health but may have also affected the continuity of antimicrobial stewardship efforts, by, inter alia, spurring over-prescribing, overuse and self-medication, the scale and effect of which are still unknown.

Antimicrobial resistance is a unique case that no single player or sector can tackle alone. It is critical to consider and employ the existing capacity, expertise and outreach capability of all actors in the health system in reinforcing the AMR efforts, and thus working towards achieving SDG 3 and UHC 2030.  Patients, health care providers and the life science industries all have a role to play in the fight against AMR. That is why, IAPO, the IAPO Patients for Patient Safety Observatory and its AMR Patient Alliance, ICN, FIP, IFPMA, FIP and UICC representing key actors in the health care system, are joining their voices today to raise awareness of AMR, promote antibiotic stewardship and call upon policymakers to enable an ecosystem that will attract sustained and robust investment in AMR R&D to ensure that a healthy pipeline of antibiotics will remain available to treat existing and emerging infections.

COVID-19 has demonstrated the huge health and economic impacts due to a lack of pandemic preparedness. However, unlike COVID-19, AMR is a predictable and preventable crisis. We have a critical opportunity to tackle AMR, and we must not waste it.

We call on Governments and Policy Decision Makers to:

  • Commit to developing and implementing National AMR Action Plans
  • Engage policymakers at all levels of government, including those responsible for implementing policy at both executive and legislative levels
  • Harmonize regulatory guidance on access to new antimicrobial therapies and diagnostic tests across countries and regions.
  • Create patient registries and strengthen AMR surveillance systems; share surveillance data across countries and regions.
  • Continue to implement ‘push’ incentives to support development of new antimicrobial medicines and technologies.
  • Implement new ‘pull’ incentives for antimicrobials at a scale that will support a vibrant and robust pipeline and ensure a sustainable supply of new, quality assured antimicrobials.
  • Remove access barriers to appropriate antimicrobial treatment, vaccines, or diagnostics.
  • Address AMR through a One Health lens and appropriate evidence-based measures.
  • Provide adequate funding for public education on AMR, including the importance of antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention & control and vaccination.
  • Provide adequate possibilities for patients and patient organisations to take part in the implementation of AMR action plans at national level and in the antimicrobial stewardship programs at local levels.
  • Collaborate with health care professionals and veterinary societies and associations to develop and facilitate the implementation of educational and behavioural interventions that will promote appropriate antimicrobial prescribing and raise awareness of AMR.



The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) Established in 1999, IAPO is a unique global alliance representing 300 patient organisations from 71 countries working in all disease areas, with a vision to see patients throughout the world at the centre of healthcare that is safe, accessible and affordable. IAPO is in official relations with the World Health Organisation, contributing to the commitments for patient safety and universal health coverage, leaving no one behind.

IAPO Patients for Patient Safety Observatory is a single-point global platform for gathering and analysing patients’ experience and expertise to feed evidence to the national, regional and global policies aimed at improving patient and quality of care for patients by the patients. IAPO P4PS Observatory’s vision is to see safer health care for every person worldwide, through building a patient-led platform for research, evidence gathering and advocacy for safer healthcare for everyone, everywhere.

AMR Patient Alliance, initiated by IAPO and IAPO Patients for Patient Safety Observatory is aimed to amalgamate patient-led efforts worldwide with a vision of a world where human-induced antimicrobial resistance is eliminated. Our hope is that the AMR Patient Alliance will give voice to patients in every geographical context, and also empower them for sustaining the efficacy of antibiotics – for as long as possible, for as many patients as possible.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 2 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through our 147 member organisations, we represent over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and pharmaceutical care.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the largest and oldest international cancer fighting organisation. Founded in Geneva in 1933, UICC has over 1,200 member organisations in 172 countries. It enjoys consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). UICC has over 50 partners, including associations, companies and foundations committed to the fight against cancer. UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, the McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer and the International Cancer Control Partnership (ICCP) and established the City Cancer Challenge Foundation in January 2019. UICC’s mission is to both unite and support the cancer community in its efforts to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and ensure that cancer control remains a priority on the global health and development agenda. It pursues these goals by bringing together global leaders through innovative and far-reaching cancer-control events and initiatives, building capacities to meet regional needs and developing awareness campaigns.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster