ERS supports call on G20 leaders to prioritise TB in upcoming AMR talks

9 March, 2017

The ERS Ad hoc Working Group on TB Advocacy has officially endorsed a global sign-on letter urging G20 leaders to prioritise tuberculosis (TB) in their work on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in 2017.

The World Health Organization omitted TB and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) from the latest list of priority pathogens. Health advocates, including ERS, are thus urging policy makers to not dismiss the threat of TB.

TB is the world’s foremost infectious killer and one of the world’s leading drug-resistant threats; in 2015, 816,000 deaths and 5.6 million cases of TB were in G20 nations. TB is also responsible for one-in-three deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and is the only major airborne form of AMR.

Though much can be done to improve existing TB prevention and treatment programmes, by placing the spotlight on TB, the G20 can enable truly global action, build on commitments from 2016 to make the development of new drugs possible, and help to alleviate the global burden of TB.

The letter calls upon G20 leaders to enhance investment in the development of a new TB vaccine and better diagnostics, which signatories hope will be achieved through the development of a G20 mechanism to fast-track the development of a new anti-TB regimen.

It is hoped that new TB treatments will be effective in cases of both TB and MDR-TB to ease pressures on public health provisions and investment.

The next G20 meeting will take place in July 2017 in Germany where one of the key issues to be discussed is antimicrobial resistance; health advocates hope G20 leaders will use this opportunity to bring more political attention to the global threat of TB.

ERS calls upon both organisations and individuals to sign the letter by 10 March.

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