Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (GRAM): Lancet



    • Antimicrobial resistance has become a leading cause of death worldwide and is killing about 3,500 people every day according to recent research.


    • The new Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (Gram) report estimates deaths linked to 23 pathogens and 88 pathogen-drug combinations across 204 countries and territories in 2019.
    •  Statistical modelling was used to produce estimates of the impact of AMR in all locations – including those with no data – using more than 470m individual records obtained from systematic literature reviews, hospital systems, surveillance systems, and other data sources.
    • It is published in The Lancet

    Major Findings 

    • It has been found that 1.27 million people died in 2019 as a direct result of AMR, which is now a leading cause of death worldwide, higher than HIV/AIDS or malaria.
      •  Many hundreds of thousands of deaths are occurring due to common, previously treatable infections because bacteria that cause them have become resistant to treatment.
    • It poses a significant threat to humanity, health 

    • Antibiotics in Covid:
      • There is a lot of improper use of antibiotics happening in Covid too.
        • A study reported by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) from 10 hospitals showed that when Covid patients acquire drug-resistant infections in hospitals, the mortality is almost 50-60%.


    • There is an urgent need to scale up action to combat AMR and outline immediate actions for policymakers that would help save lives and protect health systems. 
      • These include optimising the use of existing antibiotics, taking greater action to monitor and control infections, and providing more funding to develop new antibiotics and treatments.

    What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?

    • It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. 

    Image Courtesy: Conservation

    Challenges Posed by AMR

    • Antibiotic resistance is emerging as the threat to successful treatment of infectious diseases, organ transplantation, cancer chemotherapy and major surgeries.
    • The issue of AMR causes out of pocket expenditure on health care, especially on medicines. The use of high order drugs or second-line expensive antibiotics pushes treatment costs high.
    • Neonates and the elderly both are prone to infections and are vulnerable.
    • Global Concerns
      • It is a global health and development threat.
    • WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. AMR is already responsible for up to 7,00,000 deaths a year.

    Various Initiatives Adopted in This Aspect

    • Global Efforts:
    • Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP): Globally, countries committed to the framework set out in the Global Action Plan1 (GAP) 2015 on AMR during the 2015 World Health Assembly and committed to the development and implementation of multisectoral national action plans. 
    • Tripartite Joint Secretariat on Antimicrobial Resistance: Tripartite joint secretariat (FAO, OIE and WHO) has been established and is hosted by WHO to drive multi-stakeholder engagement in AMR. 
    • Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR: It was convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations after the UN High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2016. 
    • World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW): WAAW was previously called the World Antibiotic Awareness Week. From 2020, it will be called the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. 
    • It is a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
    • Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS): WHO launched it in 2015 to continue filling knowledge gaps and to inform strategies at all levels. 
    • Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP): A joint initiative of WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), GARDP encourages research and development through public-private partnerships. 
    • India’s initiative:
    • India’s Red Line campaign: Which demands that prescription-only antibiotics be marked with a red line, to discourage the over-the-counter sale of antibiotics– is a step forward.
    • National Health Policy, 2017, terms antimicrobial resistance as one of the key healthcare issues and prioritizes the development of guidelines regarding antibiotic use and check on restricting the growth of antibiotics.
    • The National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR) 2017 has assigned coordinated tasks to multiple government agencies involving health, education, environment, and livestock to change prescription practices and consumer behaviour and to scale up infection control and antimicrobial surveillance.
    • FSSAI has set certain guidelines limiting the antibiotics in food products such as fish and honey.