241/2015 Kerry Hickson
The recent increase in antimicrobial resistance has received concern from the government and media. The twentieth century history of tuberculosis in England and Wales presented here shows that some of the more extreme apocalyptic scenarios are unlikely. The paper shows that preventive medicine can play a major role; that the threat should reduce the use of antimicrobials; and the scope for government to intervene with sound public health policies. The paper also estimates the value of twentieth century health gains associated with eliminating tuberculosis in England and Wales to be worth at least $127 billion, which provides a warning about the potential gains that could be lost without initiatives to prevent antimicrobial resistance.