WBB's Thought Leadership

World Bank Group Projects Financial Impact of Anti-Microbial Resistance

September 27

Summary: The WBG projected the financial burden AMR may have on the global economy leading up to 2050, with world trade and the global economy declining 3.8%, healthcare prices rising $1 trillion (t), economic losses totaling $100t, and global livestock production declines reaching 7.5%.

Excerpt: “Key findings […] include: By 2050, annual global GDP would fall by 1.1% in the low-impact AMR scenario and 3.8% in the high-impact AMR scenario. Low-income countries would lose more yearly, leading up to 2050, with the loss exceeding 5% of GDP in 2050 in the latter scenario. There would be a pronounced increase in extreme poverty because of AMR. Of the additional 28.3 million (m) people falling into extreme poverty in 2050 in the high-impact AMR scenario, the vast majority (26.2m) would live in low-income countries. Currently, the world is broadly on track to eliminate extreme poverty (at $1.90/day) by 2030, reaching close to the target of less than 3% of people living in extreme poverty. AMR risks putting this target out of reach. In 2050, the volume of global real exports would shrink by 1.1% in the low-case scenario, and by 3.8% in the high-case scenario. Global increases in healthcare costs may range from $300 billion (b) to more than $1t yearly by 2050. By 2050, the decline in global livestock production could range from a low of 2.6% to a high of 7.5% yearly.”

“Recommendations include AMR-sensitive and AMR-specific solutions to address the crisis. It says that one of the best opportunities in the short-term to mitigate the threat of AMR is to strengthen investments in health systems and overall preparedness to tackle infectious diseases, and to improve public and veterinary health systems while building surveillance for AMR into them as an integral component. It strongly supports implementation and adequate financing of the World Health Organization (WHO) Action Plan on AMR, which was endorsed in 2015. It also recommends an urgent focus on innovative AMR-specific interventions that promote and incentivize better stewardship of antimicrobials both for humans and animals, including the appropriate use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.”

WBB Assessment: A key element of quality improvement and organizational learning is an accurate understanding of the financial costs and economic opportunities of any venture. This is as true at the national and global level as it is at the unit, facility, or enterprise level. The WBG has quantified the economic implications of a situation already identified as critical by medical bodies. The CDC and WHO have underlined that AMR has reached a critical level; for a number of serious diseases, the “drugs of last resort” are no longer effective against new strains. While the medical consequences have received public and political attention, the WBG report outlines the high cost of last-resort drugs and treatments, and the lost productivity and missed economic opportunity that spring from rising AMR.

Source: The World Bank


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