STOCKHOLM, Nov. 18 (XINHUA) -- To mark European Antibiotic Awareness Day on Monday, officials in Sweden have spoken about increasing antibiotic resistance in the country and globally.
Figures from the Public Health Agency of Sweden showed that there were 12,778 cases of antibiotic resistance in Sweden between January and October this year, an increase of 350 cases compared with the same period last year.
Antibiotic resistance is a global issue, one that the World Health organization has defined as one of the biggest threats to global public health.
A study released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control estimated that antibiotic resistance can be linked to 33,000 deaths in the European Union and European Economic Area each year, Swedish Television (SVT) reported on Monday.
Though Sweden is at the forefront of this issue, Swedish officials have reiterated the importance of this issue both for the country and the global community.
"It's a global issue, and it doesn't matter how good we are here in Sweden. We must work with other countries in order to have any chance of success at all. The resource-poor countries are the most vulnerable and the ones most affected," Malin Grape of the Public Health Agency of Sweden told SVT.
Overuse is one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance, and the Public Health Agency of Sweden is highlighting the need for systemic change to combat this.
The pharmaceutical industry lacks incentives to develop new antibiotics. It is a costly process with limited potential revenue as the new drugs would need to be used sparingly to prevent further resistance.
"This is something that we must look at, to try to create those incentives and find new business models where the revenue is not directly linked to the consumption of drugs. It is unsustainable when it comes to developing something to be used sparingly," Grape told SVT.