The world will end in 2050 because...resistance

UK Prime Minister David Cameron requested a review of the health and economic burden of antimicrobial resistance in July. Quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, economist Jim O'Neill has delivered his report and the results are surprising (at least for those who don't follow this blog). Utilizing commissioned studies from KPMG and Rand Europe, the Review estimates that the economic losses attributable to antimicrobial resistance will total $100 trillion and 10 million excess deaths will occur annually by 2050. In fact deaths do to resistance will surpass other major causes of death even the 8.2 million due to cancer. (see figure on right) Of course, cancer deaths might rise due to the fact that we can no longer safely give chemotherapy without effective antibiotics. The report covers these issues in a sobering section titled: "The secondary health effects of AMR: a return to the dark age of medicine?"

Good times.

The independent Review will outline recommendations for an international response by 2016. In the meantime, I leave you with my favorite figure from the report below. Just for reference, $100.2 trillion is 6 times the size of the US GDP (2013). Perhaps this will wake up the world to antimicrobial resistance?

Additional Source: BBC


  1. tongue in cheek? maybe not... scary.
    It does seem like the world might be a very different place in 2050, if environmental degradation/ climate change start to really wreak havoc. maybe it won't matter if there are no antibiotics.

    1. Well, the BBC article states that "the reduction in population and the impact on ill-health would reduce world economic output by between 2% and 3.5%." That's like a permanent recession all due to resistance. When you add the other economic hits from climate change etc, it's an end of the world scenario - however likely or unlikely.


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