• Drug resistant infections kill half a million people a year
- Increase in antibiotic use is largely in developing world
A dramatic rise in global antibiotic consumption has led public health experts to call for fresh strategies to rein in excessive use of the drugs, and for major investments to provide clean water, sanitation and vaccines in countries where infectious diseases are rife.
The unrestrained use of antibiotics is the main driver for the rise in drug-resistant infections which now kill more than half a million people a year worldwide, including 50,000 in Europe and the US combined. Left unchecked, the spread of drug resistance could claim millions of lives a year by 2050, according to a 2014 report for David Cameron, the former prime minister.