Antimicrobial Resistance


Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a natural process that occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites develop the ability to survive against the drugs designed to kill them. That means the resistant germs can continue to grow and spread to other people, both through hospitals and community settings. Unfortunately, the current arsenal of antimicrobial treatments were not developed to treat newly resistant strains and the pipeline of new antimicrobials needed to stem the tide of AMR has been on the decline. Despite a research and development pipeline of nearly 90 potential antimicrobial medicines, too few of them target the priority pathogens identified by public health experts. To solve the growing AMR crisis, it is critical to ensure that treatments can keep pace with evolving pathogens and continue to fight infections.[1]

PhRMA and our members are committed to bolstering pandemic preparedness and health care resiliency to make sure our country and American patients are stronger, healthier and better prepared for the next public health emergency. Having a robust pipeline of medicines to address AMR is a key part of that preparedness. If we fail to address this growing crisis, many modern medical advances that depend on antibiotics — such as routine surgery, cancer therapy and treatment of chronic disease — may be jeopardized.


  1. Shafran, N., Shafran, I., Ben-Zvi, H. et al. Secondary bacterial infection in COVID-19 patients is a stronger predictor for death compared to influenza patients. Sci Rep 11, 12703 (2021).
  2. Weiner-Lastinger, L., Pattabiraman, V., Konnor, R., Patel, P., Wong, E., Xu, S., . . . Dudeck, M. (2022). The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on healthcare-associated infections in 2020: A summary of data reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 43(1), 12-25. doi:10.1017/ice.2021.362

Updated July 2022

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