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The Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark 2020 scrutinizes drug manufacturer's environmental performance and calls for greater transparency

While many companies now present elaborate environmental strategies and emission targets, none publishes actual antibiotic discharge levels, and none discloses their suppliers of active ingredients or which waste-treatment plants they are using. "Clearly, there is still a long way to go", says Joakim Larsson, director of CARe.

Last week, the AMR Industry Alliance released their report on how the progress of their member industries on how to combat the global challenge with AMR. With regards to commitments to minimize risks with antibiotic pollution from manufacturing sites, the Alliance report that over 80% of participating companies’ antibiotics manufacturing facilities meet or partially meet the framework’s requirements and have shared these with more than 400 suppliers.

Representing another independent angle on the same challenge, the Access to Medicines Foundation released their report yesterday on how major pharmaceutical companies address the global challenge of AMR. In line with the AMR industry alliance report, the Benchmark confirm that most of the 17 scrutinized companies have an environmental strategy to minimize AMR, and they also set safe discharge limits for antibiotics. At the same time, none of the 17 companies publishes actual antibiotic discharge levels, none discloses their suppliers of active ingredients and none discloses which waste-treatment plants they are using.

Professor Joakim Larsson, director of CARe and also one of the experts in the review committee for the Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark comments:

- While public strategies and set emission targets represent steps in the right direction from several industries, this is far from sufficient. The remarkable lack of transparency, as revealed in the report, effectively prevents anyone from the outside to judge if the strategies presented really translates into effective action, or not.

Link to the Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark 2020: https://accesstomedicinefoundation.org/amr-benchmark

AMR Industry Alliance 2020 report: https://www.amrindustryalliance.org/progress-report/

Related reading: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-019-0531-1