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Pharmaceutical boss says drug companies are to blame for antibiotic resistance

Pharmaceutical boss says drug companies are to blame for antibiotic resistance

A pharmaceutical chief executive has claimed that the poor practices of drug companies’ is responsible for the rise in antibiotic resistance adding that this has threatened to make even the smallest of infections, deadly.

The Telegraph reports: Doctors have usually been blamed for bacterial resistance because of overprescription, but Karl Rotthier, the chief executive of Dutch-based DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, claims lax procedures at drugs firms are the real cause.

He said the very industry that produced lifesaving antibiotics was fuelling a global crisis.

He said that poor waste water checks had caused some rivers in Patancheru, India to have higher concentrations of active antibiotics than the blood of patients undergoing treatment.

Mr Rotthier said the world risks “sleepwalking” towards the end of modern medicine and a “post-antibiotic era”.

“For a couple of years now we have seen antimicrobial resistance rising and rising and you get scared because if we don’t do anything we risk deaths of up to 10 million by 2050,” he said.

The World Health Oganisation echoes his concerns and has classified antimicrobial resistance as a “serious threat” to every region of the world and says it “has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country”.

Mr Rothier said: “Most antibiotics are now produced in China and India and I don’t think it is unjust to say that the environmental conditions have been quite different in these regions.

“Poor controls mean that antibiotics are leaking out and getting into drinking water. They are in the fish and cattle that we eat and global travel and exports means bacteria is travelling. That is having a greater contribution to the growth of antibiotic resistance than overprescribing.”

Antibiotic resistance is now estimated to contribute to more than 25,000 deaths every year in Europe alone.