Many treatable illnesses are becoming increasingly resistant to drugs. / Getty Images


Ten million people around the world will die unnecessarily every year by 2050 unless new antibiotics are created to tackle drug-resistant infections, a study concludes today.

The findings are contained in a Government-commissioned report, which warns that drug resistance will cost the global economy up to £63 trillion.

The report warns that already a new strain of E. coli has been identified that is resistant to the last known class of antibiotics that can treat it. It adds that many other treatable illnesses, such as TB, are becoming increasingly resistant to drugs.

The report, which focuses on the economic consequences of drug resistance, was led by the former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill. It calls for incentives for drug companies to develop “last resort” treatments and for controls on the use of drugs to minimise resistance.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “This is a compelling piece of work, which takes us a step forward in understanding the true gravity of the threat.”