Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) refers to the ability of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms to no longer respond to medicines. AMR is typically characterised as a complex problem that requires many different parties to come together to fully address it. Typically, it combines threats to human health, animal health, the environment and food safety.

antimicrobial resistance

I was a co-investigator on a grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. The investigation took a historical and future-oriented approach to understand the policy challenges of AMR. The grant was led by the University of Exeter, in partnership with RAND Europe and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

The study took a comparative approach to understanding antimicrobial resistance, in order to learn from other large-scale and complex problems. Specifically, they looked at climate change and tobacco control. These issues have in common their complexity, enduring nature and important public health consequences.

We used a combination of historical analysis, scenario planning and engagement with historians, policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to assess what lessons from the past and from other policy areas might be used to inform future AMR policymaking.

Pitchforth E, Smith E, Taylor J, Davies S, Ali G-C, d’Angelo C (2022). Global action on AMR: lessons from the history of climate change and tobacco control policy. BMJ Global Health. 10.1136/bmjgh-2022-009283

Pitchforth E, Ali G-C, Smith E, Taylor J, Rayner T, Lichten C, d’Angelo C, Gradmann C, Berridge V, Bertscher A, Allel K (2023). What and how can we learn from complex global problems for antimicrobial resistance policy? A comparative study combining historical and foresight approaches. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance10.1016/j.jgar.2023.08.019

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