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Working together to fight AMR: the EU as a best-practice region
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a serious global problem calling for global solutions, and Europe needs to lead the way. This was the clear message on Thursday, 13 September, when Members of the European Parliament voted to adopt an own-initiative resolution on a European One Health Action Plan against AMR.
AMR – a natural biological process that occurs when microbes evolve to resist antimicrobial medicines – is already responsible for at least 25,000 deaths each year in Europe, with related costs exceeding 1.5 billion euro. If AMR is not properly addressed, we could be facing a ‘post-antibiotic era’ with limited treatment options for even the most common infections1, and up to 10 million deaths worldwide per year by 20502.
Combatting AMR is a complex challenge that requires a holistic and collaborative approach amongst stakeholders, from policymakers to manufacturers, healthcare professionals and patients. This has been recognised at the highest political level, including by the EU, WHO, G7, G20 and OECD, and through a strong call to action and commitments from industry, including the AMR Industry Alliance Declaration and Roadmap launched by over 100 companies and associations.
The European Commission’s One Health Action Plan aims to make Europe a best practice region on AMR. For this to be achieved, the EU and its Member States need to be ambitious in shaping and promoting the right combination of policies at all levels:
- Antibiotic stewardship to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics
- Expanded and better coordinated surveillance tools to increase our knowledge of resistance mechanisms
- A broader and effective use of vaccines as key alternatives to antibiotics
- Promotion of medical technologies to improve prevention, control and monitoring, including medical devices, in-vitro diagnostics and digital health technology
- New economic models and incentives for research and development (R&D), which should be predictable and sustainable to secure appropriate investment for the future.
The EU Action Plan and resolution are important steps, but more work still needs to be done.
For more information on AmCham EU’s position on AMR, contact Ava Lloyd, Policy Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).