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Pandemics & Epidemics

A woman looks away while a healthcare professional gives her a COVID-19 vaccination
ESG Policies & Positions

Antimicrobial Resistance

The WHO WHO World Health Organization considers antimicrobial resistance (AMR) one of the top 10 global health threats,45 with the potential to cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050.46 The reducing effectiveness of today’s antibiotics can turn everyday infections and simple surgical procedures into potentially life-or-death ordeals. For example, most surgical procedures from appendectomies to joint replacements or even coronary bypasses rely on antibiotics to prevent life-threatening infections. Growing drug resistance is compounding AMR as a public health challenge. For example, drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) now accounts for nearly one-third of all deaths from AMR, with hundreds of thousands of new cases of DR-TB detected each year (see section: Tuberculosis). Further, the increase in hospitalizations and antibiotic use in COVID-19 treatment is predicted to further exacerbate AMR.

Our Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health and Janssen Infectious Diseases and Vaccines teams are critical to maintaining our position at the forefront of impact against AMR—from tackling DR-TB to advancing the development of a vaccine against ExPEC ExPEC Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli and exploring innovative CRISPR-Cas3-enhanced bacteriophage technology to develop targeted treatments.

Leading the way to outpace AMR: For the third year in a row, Johnson & Johnson is proud to be named one of the top three companies leading the way in addressing the complex health challenge of AMR. The 2021 AMR Benchmark, developed by the independent Access to Medicine Foundation, recognized our strong performance across three critical areas:

  • increasing access to medicines for patients in need;
  • ensuring careful stewardship; and
  • responsibly manufacturing our medicines.
Greater innovation is urgently needed to outpace AMR by safeguarding the treatments we have today and accelerating the development of the treatments of tomorrow.
Martin Fitchet, M.D.
Global Head, Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson, and Member of the Board of the AMR Action Fund

Actively seeking new antibiotics: As a founding member of the AMR Action Fund, our $100 million commitment advances the Fund’s goal of bringing two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030. As the world’s largest public-private partnership, the AMR Action Fund aims to invest more than $1 billion in smaller biotech companies and provide industry expertise to support the clinical development of novel antibiotics. In 2021, the AMR Action Fund announced its first non-industry investments, raising an additional $140 million, adding to the initial investment from more than 20 leading biopharmaceutical companies that established the Fund in July 2020.

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Each year, 700,000 people die due to the uncontrolled rise of superbugs resistant to antibiotics.47

Leading practices in overcoming AMR: The AMR Industry Alliance (AMRIA) brings together biotech, diagnostics, generics and research-based pharmaceutical companies to drive and measure industry progress to curb AMR. The recently published 2021 AMRIA Progress Report cites Johnson & Johnson's notable contributions in recognition of our efforts to innovate and advocate to outpace the threat of AMR, including:

  • Expanding the availability of bedaquiline, including the pediatric formulation and several partnerships to support access to treatment in the regions that need it most;
  • Maintaining a resilient supply chain to ensure alignment between demand, inventory, supply and manufacturing to meet the needs in resource-limited settings, even during events causing major disruption;
  • Driving healthcare workers’ education on TB in partnership with different nonprofit organizations; and
  • Advancing a COVID-19 vaccine supported by education for HCPs HCPs Healthcare professional and engaging nurses during the pandemic.

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To learn more about our progress in addressing AMR, please visit
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