The Economist’s Antimicrobial Resistance Summit Asia was successfully held on 5th December 2019 in Singapore. While establishing the AMR risk in Asia the Summit looked at positive success stories and innovations, including public education campaigns, improvements in diagnostic technologies, data collaboration, and academic partnerships between regional and international universities. By convening experts from government, industry and academia, and from contexts ranging from Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam through the South Korea and Singapore, the event took AMR from an issue receiving attention by a narrow group of concerned scientists and politicians, to a mainstream policy priority for governments across the world.
CPA’s Vice President Nancy Ho was invited to contribute her expertise in the session Industry panel at the Summit: Innovation and R&D from lab to hospital. The discussion focused on how innovation must reach the front lines to overcome AMR. Hospitals need access to clinical microbiology laboratories to enable the timely identification of pathogens and their antibiotic sensitivities, and the pharmaceutical industry needs support to invest more. The response to AMR necessitates a multi stakeholder approach, pharmacists and especially community pharmacists are a key link in the chain. Nancy gave an overview of the various initiatives undertaken by CPA and Malaysia which emphasise the main role of Pharmacists being in Education, Awareness Creation and Advocacy. Her experience in the pharmaceutical industry, the emergence of the AMR crisis and her representation of CPA projects, in particular the initiative of ‘Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship’ (CwPAMS), was a valuable contribution to the discussion at the event.
The whole event highlighted the sense of urgency required to ensure safety, efficacy and effectiveness of regimes and constant monitoring for compliance and desired outcomes.