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First Minister's Questions - Antimicrobial Resistance

This week, at the first FMQ's of the Fifth Assembly, I asked the First Minister Carwyn Jones, what is the Welsh Government's response to the O'Neill report on the threat to human health from the overuse of antibiotics?

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Lord Jim O'Neill, who has led the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, has said that a campaign is needed to stop people treating antibiotics like sweets. We need a global plan for preventing medicine "being cast back into the dark ages".

The real implications of spreading drug resistance will be felt the world over, with developing countries and large emerging nations bearing brunt of this problem.

Routine surgeries and minor infections will become life-threatening once again and the hard won victories against infectious diseases of the last fifty years will be jeopardized. Drug resistance results in at least 700,000 deaths globally, from illnesses such bacterial infections, malaria, HIV/Aids or tuberculosis.

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The First Minister recognised the global problem and stated that we do have a delivery plan in Wales - a blueprint for specific actions that will have the biggest impact in slowing the spread of resistance. There are 12 specific actions in the plan which are all designed to make sure that we contribute to slowing down resistance to drugs that have been in use for many years.

In the Cardiff East GP cluster particularly, there is a significant overprescribing for respiratory diseases compared with other clusters, and it would be useful to explore why these differences exist and how we are going to deal with them.

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Jenny Rathbone | Assembly Member for Cardiff Central

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