Rising rates of drug-resistant infections could lead to the death of some 10 million people and cost some $100 trillion in 2050.
That’s the startling conclusion of a review commissioned by British Prime Minister David Cameron which has warned that if antimicrobial resistance is not curbed, it could undermine modern medicine and cut up to 3.5% from the global economy.
The threat could also disproportionately affect the developing world, according to the report authored by economist Jim O’Neill, leading to more than 4 million deaths in Africa and 4.7 million deaths in Asia. By comparison, cancer killed 8.2 million people worldwide in 2014.
The report, which will be followed up by a full package of public health recommendations by 2016, called for “coherent international action that spans drug regulation and antimicrobial drugs use across humans, animals and the environment.”