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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Discover AMR Action Fund's Investments in Antimicrobial Solutions


Discover AMR Action Fund's Investments in Antimicrobial Solutions
Antibiotics have revolutionized healthcare and played a vital role in saving numerous lives. However, the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is reducing the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. Addressing AMR is a complex challenge with no easy solution, but we are fully committed to leveraging our expertise and resources in collaboration with our partners to ensure that antibiotics reach those who need them the most. It's a matter of urgency as lives are on the line.
In a pioneering collaboration involving more than 20 leading pharmaceutical companies, philanthropic organizations, and institutions, we are dedicated to bridging the gap between the early stages of antibiotic development and getting these medications to patients. In alignment with our historical focus on preventing and treating infectious diseases, we take pride in our pledge to invest $100 million over the course of a decade in the AMR Action Fund. The fund's collective objective is to deliver two to four innovative antibiotics to patients and healthcare providers by the year 2030.
As of early 2023, the AMR Action Fund has already made investments in five small biotech companies that are actively working on developing new medicines to combat some of the most dangerous bacteria, as identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
Here are five reasons why collaborative efforts play a pivotal role in addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR):
  1. Urgent Need for New Antibiotics: There is a pressing need for the development of new antibiotics, yet there is a limited number in the pipeline. The future of antibiotic innovation is in jeopardy due to significant scientific, regulatory, and economic challenges that discourage innovation in this field, leading to a decline in the number of companies involved in antimicrobial research and development. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all solution is not viable, our company, along with others, has proposed a series of policy reforms across various regions worldwide. However, time is of the essence, and we require collaboration from policymakers to ensure the sustained growth of antibiotic innovation for years to come.
  2. Responsible Antibiotic Use: Once new antibiotics receive approval, their responsible use is crucial. At Merck, we are making substantial investments in supporting antimicrobial stewardship (AMS), which encompasses evidence-based policies to slow down the development of resistance to current antimicrobials. Our investments and partnerships aid hospitals worldwide in creating and implementing patient-centered AMS programs tailored to their local contexts, considering factors such as epidemiology, clinical settings, and resource availability. We also provide significant grant funding to support a wide range of AMS initiatives and collaborative efforts. Our global contributions to AMS include:
  3. Supporting the establishment of multiple AMS Centers of Excellence worldwide. Assisting public health leaders in effectively monitoring and addressing emerging AMR infections, promoting AMS, and adapting accepted AMS strategies to meet local requirements.
  4. Providing substantial grant funding for numerous investigator-initiated AMS research projects.
  5. Tracking Resistance Trends and Data Utilization: Monitoring resistance trends and using data to guide appropriate prescription practices remain of utmost importance. Our company has been tracking global resistance trends for over two decades, enabling healthcare professionals to make informed antibiotic prescribing decisions. Our Study for Monitoring Antimicrobial Resistance Trends (SMART) program stands as one of the largest and longest-running AMR surveillance programs, having collected data from nearly 500,000 Gram-Negative bacterial isolates across more than 60 countries and 220 sites since 2002. Additionally, we are proud to be a partner of the AMR Register, an innovative online platform that facilitates secure data-sharing on infection-causing pathogens among pharmaceutical companies, researchers, national governments, and multilateral organizations committed to combating AMR.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has implications that extend beyond human health. This challenge is complex, and it is essential to adopt a One Health approach when formulating policies to achieve optimal well-being for individuals, animals, and the environment.

In the context of animal health, vaccines represent a valuable tool in reducing the reliance on antibiotics. Merck Animal Health stands as one of the largest producers of animal health vaccines, supplying more than 102 billion doses annually.
Additionally, safeguarding the environment through responsible manufacturing practices is another critical aspect of the One Health approach. We collaborate with partners in the AMR Industry Alliance to advocate for science-based manufacturing standards, which promote transparency and scrutiny of industry manufacturing supply chains.
The imperative to take action against AMR is immediate. Through collaborative efforts involving the scientific community and policymakers, it is possible to prevent AMR. Each of us has a role to play as we prepare for future health crises. It is imperative that we act promptly to implement measures ensuring access to the antibiotics we require.
“AMR is not a future problem — it’s here now, threatening human, animal and environmental health as we know it. We must take swift, collaborative action to help reduce the risk of AMR before it’s too late,” said Jennifer Zachary, executive vice president and general counsel at Merck and member of the Global Leaders Group on AMR.
For further information on the investments made by the AMR Action Fund to ensure that both patients and healthcare providers have access to effective antimicrobial treatments, both presently and in the years ahead, please visit their official website.