BBC: Oxford University is opening a new research institute dedicated to tackling resistance to antibiotics

19 January, 2021

Extracts below from a BBC news item, and a comment from me.


The university says this is one of the the biggest rising threats to global health, already causing 1.5 million deaths per year worldwide.

The institute will be funded by £100m donated by the Ineos chemical company...

'Growing menace'

There will be 50 researchers working in the new Ineos Oxford Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance, addressing the "over-use and mis-use" of antibiotics, which the university warned could cause 10 million excess deaths per year by 2050...

"The growing menace of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of the most under-reported issues of our time," says David Sweetnam, a surgeon advising the new institute...

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, billionaire chairman of Ineos, said the partnership with Oxford aimed to "accelerate progress in tackling this urgent global challenge".


Rational prescribing of antibiotics is impossible unless prescribers and users have access to reliable, unbiased information on their selection and use. Such access is vital across all areas of health care. Sadly, as WHO has said: ‘Globally, most prescribers receive most of their prescribing information from the pharmaceutical industry and in many countries this is the only information they receive.’

In 2020 HIFA published its first systematic review on this issue, which 'serves as a vital baseline assessment/situation analysis on which we can build future advocacy and action. There can be no area of health more important than access to reliable information to inform prescribing, no area of health that ios more perverted by commercial interests, and no area of health that presents such an important and growing existential threat to human existence - the predicted post-antibiotic apocalypse, with 50 million deaths per year, is partly driven by lack of access to reliable informatioin on antibitics'.

The HIFA project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines is currently unfunded. We need £5k to build on our work to date and accelerate progress towards our objective: A world where every prescriber and user of medicines will have access to independent, reliable, understandable information on the full range of commonly prescribed medicines – and will know where to find it. If you can help or advise, please let me know:

Meanwhile we shall offer our support to the new research institute.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: