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In an increasingly interconnected world, drug resistance does not stop at a patient’s bedside—it threatens global health. It has slowed gains against the fatal ravages of childhood dysentery and pneumonia, drastically increased the costs of fighting tuberculosis and malaria, and imperiled efforts to effectively treat people living with HIV/AIDS. Tens of millions of lives are at stake; quality of life for scores of millions more is under threat.
The conclusions of the Center for Global Development’s Drug Resistance Working Group make clear the need for urgent action to address this growing crisis. While there is no simple solution, there are achievable steps, as are described in this report, which the health community, governments, donors, and the pharmaceutical industry can and must take to slow the spread of drug resistance. Retaining the drugs we have now, developing new drugs and other technology, and ensuring these resources continue to save lives in future generations must become a priority for global and national health organizations, both public and private.