Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance refers to the phenomenon whereby

bacteria develop the ability to continue proliferating in the

presence of an antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, or anti

fungal substance to which they were formerly sensitive. In

this report, the term is used to refer to bacterial resistance

to antibiotics. AMR specific to antibacterial substances is

fuelled by the excessive and inappropriate use of antibiotics

in human beings and animals, as well as the dumping of

antibiotic-laden waste by pharmaceutical manufacturers into

the natural environment. It is a global public health problem

which is expected to worsen considerably in the coming

decades, leading to millions of deaths worldwide.


The term ‘superbug’ is commonly used to describe a strain

of bacteria which has become resistant to antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one example of a superbug

which has become resistant to a variety of antibiotics.

Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)

The US Food and Drug Administration defines active

pharmaceutical ingredients as any substance or mixture

of substances intended to be used in the manufacture of a

medicinal product and that, when used in the production of

a drug, becomes an active ingredient of the drug product.

APIs are often manufactured separately from the finished

dose products which are marketed to end-consumers.

Generic drugs

According to the World Health Organization, a generic

drug is a pharmaceutical product, usually intended to

be interchangeable with an innovator product, that is

manufactured without a licence from the innovator company

and marketed after the expiry date of the patent or other

exclusive rights.



This is a SumOfUs report based on research by Changing Markets and Profundo.

Published in June 2015

Designed by Pietro Bruni

 For more information visit:

Sum of Us: www.sumofus.org

Changing Markets: www.changingmarkets.com

Profundo: www.profundo.nl