Antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics will present a greater danger to humankind than cancer by the middle of the century unless world leaders agree international action to tackle the threat, according to George Osborne.
The British chancellor will tell a panel of experts at an IMF meeting in Washington that 10 million people a year could die across the world by 2050 – more than the number of people lost to cancer every year – without radical action.
Osborne will warn of an enormous economic cost, which could cut global GDP by 3.5%, a cumulative cost of $100bn (£70bn). The chancellor will say: “Unless we take global action, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat to mankind than cancer currently is.
“It is not just a health problem but an economic one, too. The cost of doing nothing, both in terms of lives lost and money wasted, is too great, and the world needs to come together to agree a common approach.”