Ensuring progress on sustainable access to effective antibiotics at the 2024 UN General Assembly: a target-based approach

Marc Mendelson, Joseph A. Lewnard, Mike Sharland, Aislinn Cook, Koen B. Pouwels, Yewande Alimi, Mirfin Mpundu, Evelyn Wesangula, Jeffrey Scott Weese, John Arne Røttingen, Ramanan Laxminarayan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis for countries of all economic levels, alongside the broader challenge of access to antibiotics. As a result, development goals for child survival, healthy ageing, poverty reduction, and food security are at risk. Preserving antimicrobial effectiveness, a global public good, requires political will, targets, accountability frameworks, and funding. The upcoming second high-level meeting on AMR at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September, 2024, is evidence of political interest in addressing the problem of AMR, but action on targets, accountability, and funding, absent from the 2016 UNGA resolution, is needed. We propose ambitious yet achievable global targets for 2030 (relative to a prepandemic 2019 baseline): a 10% reduction in mortality from AMR; a 20% reduction in inappropriate human antibiotic use; and a 30% reduction in inappropriate animal antibiotic use. Given national variation in current levels of antibiotic use, these goals (termed the 10–20–30 by 2030) should be met within a framework of universal access to effective antibiotics. The WHO Access, Watch, Reserve (AWARE) system can be used to define, monitor, and evaluate appropriate levels of antibiotic use and access. Some countries should increase access to narrow-spectrum, safe, and affordable (Access) antibiotics, whereas others should discourage the inappropriate use of broader-spectrum (Watch) and last-resort (Reserve) antibiotics; AWARE targets should use a risk-based, burden-adjusted approach. Improved infection prevention and control, access to clean water and sanitation, and vaccination coverage can offset the selection effects of increased antibiotic use in low-income settings. To ensure accountability and global scientific guidance and consensus, we call for the establishment of the Independent Panel on Antimicrobial Access and Resistance and the support of leaders from low-income and middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2551-2564
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number10443
StatePublished - Jun 8 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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