News Release

CCA Launches New Project on Antimicrobial Resistance

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) is pleased to announce that it has been asked by the Minister of Science, on behalf of the Public Health Agency of Canada, with support from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to examine the current state of knowledge on the socio-economic impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on Canadians and the Canadian health care system.

“We are pleased to receive this new project, which has important implications in Canada and globally,” said Eric M. Meslin, PhD, FCAHS, President and CEO of the CCA. “This project comes at an opportune time as AMR is a key priority area for one of our Member Academies, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and we look forward to working closely with them. It’s crucial that science and evidence inform the development of sound policy to tackle the critical public health issue of antimicrobial resistance.”

AMR is a rising global health threat. Patients who are affected by drug-resistant pathogens are at risk of increased infections, longer hospitals stays, and even death. Even common infections are becoming less treatable with available drugs, and few new antibiotics are being developed. As antimicrobial resistant organisms become more prevalent, it is important to understand how this impacts Canadians and our health care system.

“The timing of this particular assessment project is quite favourable,” said Carol P. Herbert, President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. “Tomorrow, Fellows from the CAHS will convene for our Annual Forum and this year the focus is on AMR. In our discussions we will explicitly consider the AMR assessment project referred by the government so as to advise and inform the Panel deliberations. We look forward to being a close collaborator on this project.”

Under the guidance of the CCA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral expert panel is being assembled for this assessment. The CCA’s Member Academies – the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences – also provide key guidance and input throughout the assessment process, including expert panel nominations and dissemination processes. Many experts are also Fellows of the Academies.

The expert panel will be appointed in the coming months with a first in-person meeting expected in early 2018. It is anticipated the final report will be released in 2019.

More information about this project and the complete charge can be found here.

More information on the upcoming CAHS Forum on AMR can be found here.