GSK and Zhejiang University create new Centre for Public Health Education and Communication to tackle long-term antimicrobial resistance in China

GSK today announced a new collaboration with a leading Chinese academic institution, Zhejiang University’s School of Public Health, to create an Institute focused on global health stewardship, health education and communication, which will become fully operational in late 2018.  The aim of the Institute will be to better understand and create strategies to address key global health challenges, such as resistance to antibiotics, otherwise known as ‘AMR’ (antimicrobial resistance). 


The Institute, which will be based at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, will conduct and publish social medicine research on antibiotic use in China.  It will utilise crowd-sourcing, social media and digital analytics to gain insights into behaviour related to antibiotics use, and develop public health intervention initiatives that aim to improve knowledge and change behaviour around antibiotics use among young people in China.


GSK’s engagement in the Institute follows the establishment of the Center for Global Health at Tsinghua University in January 2017. The Center was created through a public-private partnership between Tsinghua’s School of Medicine and GSK to cultivate infectious diseases drug development capabilities and the next generation of global health leaders in China.  GSK also launched an internal Institute for Infectious Diseases and Public Health in Beijng to create sustainable, affordable treatment options for patients in China by aligning GSK's R&D capabilities in infectious diseases with the country's public health interests and acts as a focal point for academics, government, healthcare providers and regulators. It was launched in March 2016.


Shaye Stamatis, Senior Director of Strategy and Partnership, Infectious Diseases, GSK, said, “Zhejiang University is one of the leading AMR research institutes in China and at the forefront of innovative approaches to addressing AMR. Through working in collaboration, we hope to start to combat one of the most pressing dangers to public health in China and the world: AMR. By targeting China’s youth through health awareness education campaigns and social media, we can help to raise awareness of AMR and create positive change for the future.”


Xudong Zhou, Associate Professor of Social Medicine at Zhejiang University, said, “AMR is a key focus of China’s National Action Plan. Creating data-driven evidence-based health education and communication interventions can help to reduce the risk of AMR in the future. In working with industry through GSK and leveraging their expertise in infectious diseases and innovative approaches to public health, we can create more impactful campaigns for public health.”


AMR in China has become a serious healthcare problem with one of the primary causes of resistance being antibiotic misuse and over prescription. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), doctors prescribe antibiotics to half of all outpatients in China, far above recommended levels. Nearly two-thirds of Chinese believed antibiotics should be used to treat colds and flu, while one-third thought antibiotics were effective against headaches.


In both China’s national action plan and the WHO global action on AMR, health education and communication on AMR are highlighted as a priority in addressing this public health risk. The goal of ensuring appropriate use of antibiotics aligns well with GSKs AMR public policy, particularly creating a sustainable business environment that incentivises appropriate use and investment in antibiotics.


In January 2018, GSK ranked no.1 of the large pharma companies in the Access to Medicines Foundation’s first-ever AMR Benchmark, which independently assessed 30 pharmaceutical, generics and biotech company responses to AMR. GSK ranked 1st in all three areas covered by the benchmark, including appropriate access and stewardship.



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About Zhejiang

Zhejiang University, an institution founded in 1897 and located in the historic city of Hangzhou. It is a highly-ranked university in China because of its comprehensive teaching and research and its long-standing history of service to society. Its School of Public Health was set up in 1950 as one of the earliest departments of public health in China and has won regional, national and international awards in public health education and communication. It is widely recognised as being at the vanguard of research on the intersection of AMR and social science.



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