Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health.


  • 150,000 deaths a year are caused by multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). 440,000 new cases of MDR-TB emerge each year. (World Health Organization, 2011)
  • People across the world may soon die from common infections and minor injuries, unless urgent action is taken to prevent a post-antibiotic era. (World Health Organization, 2014)
  • No major types of antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years, despite the rise of “superbugs” resistant to available antibiotics. (World Health Organization, 2014)
  • 22.8 million antibiotic prescriptions were dispensed by Canadian pharmacies in 2013 (Public Health Agency of Canada)
  • 1 in 4 urinary tract infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and can’t be treated by antibiotics which were effective just 10 years ago. (
  • Twice as many patients die from infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. (World Health Organization)
  • 64% more deaths occur in individuals with MRSA, than for individuals with a non-resistant form of the infection. (World Health Organization)
  • 3,000 Canadians died last year from hospital-acquired infections. (
  • 25,000 European patients die each year from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. (European Commission)
  • €1.5 billion is estimated to be spent each year on costs related to drug-resistant infections including healthcare expenditures and productivity losses. (European Commission)
  • More than half of antibiotics prescribed at U.S. healthcare clinics are likely inappropriately prescribed for acute viral respiratory infections. (Get Smart Campaign)
  • In the United States, at least 2 million people become infected each year with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. (Get Smart Campaign)
  • In the United States, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections alone kill nearly 19,000 people a year – which is more than die from AIDS. (Get Smart Campaign)

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