In 2011, the European Commission stated that 25,000 patients die annually as a result of infections caused by bacteria that exhibit antimicrobial resistance (AMR) [1]. In addition to the human cost incurred, the loss of productivity and increase in healthcare expenditure costing EU health systems approximately €1.5 billion annually [2]. In 2012, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that without prompt action to reduce the incidence of AMR, we risk returning to a ‘’pre-antibiotic era’’, whereby previously minor infections lead to morbidity or even mortality [3].

The European Parliament’s recent Own Initiative Report on the Microbial Challenge [4] is the latest in an ongoing stream of European-level conclusions, communications, action plans and reports addressing the threat of AMR. This week, the ECDC will launch the 2012 European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EEAD) [5], drawing further attention to this global issue. EPHA strongly supports the EEAD initiative and advocates for the pursuit of a holistic, ‘one health’ approach which acknowledges the interconnectedness of livestock ‘production’ and other agricultural products, food supply chains and human health, as well as the overuse/misuse of antibiotics in human medicine. As such, EPHA encourages action across all levels, targeting the regulatory framework, professional practice and public acceptance.

- EPHA Position on Antimicrobial Resistance

- European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2012

Related articles:
- EPHA Briefing on Antimicrobial Resistance
- European Parliament Agriculture Committee adopts opinion on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) report
- European Parliament Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee adopts report on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) report
- EU Action Plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance


[1] European Commission Action Plan, 2011

[2] European Commission AMR brochure, 2011 p6

[3] WHO factsheet 194 (reviewed 2012),

[4] European Parliament Own Initiative Report – The Microbial Challenge

[5] European Antibiotic Awareness Day 18 November 2012

Last modified on December 2 2012.