Link up will involve reporting on role of rapid diagnostics in taking on antimicrobial resistance

LumiraDx – a next-generation point of care diagnostics company – has partnered with the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association to release the Testing Times report.

The document outlines the role of rapid diagnostics in taking on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), while also identifying barriers to their uptake in primary and community care.

For patients presenting with symptoms of respiratory tract infections in primary care, antibiotics are frequently prescribed without a determination of whether the patient has a bacterial infection that can be treated by antibiotics. This is despite the availability of published evidence on the value of rapid testing for the C-Reactive protein (CRP) that has been shown to significantly reduce the prescribing of antibiotics.

To inform the report, healthcare professionals, academics and government advisors on AMR shared their insights into policy and frontline challenges in a series of interviews.

Point of care CRP testing reduces antibiotic prescribing by 22-36% for respiratory tract infections and 22% for COPD. It is considered one of the most effective tools there is against the leading cause of antimicrobial resistance: unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in primary care.

“As we move forward from the pressures and challenges placed on the NHS by COVID-19, it’s critical that the UK government is looking to the future and the approaching crisis of AMR,” explained Doris-Ann Williams, chief executive officer of the British In Vitro Diagnostic Association. “Rapid diagnostics have a key role to play in community and primary care settings to lower unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, particularly in respiratory tract infections, and protect the healthcare system in the decades to come.”

The Government’s UK 5 Year Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance: 2019-2024, concluded that the UK does not make the best use of available diagnostic technology. The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association and LumiraDx are calling on the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to unlock the potential of point of care CRP testing to prevent antimicrobial resistance.