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The vital role of health professionals in curbing drug-resistant infections


About one third of hospital patients are prescribed antibiotics and up to 50% of their use is unnecessary or inappropriate. ECDC data clearly reveals the causal association between the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and the spread of drug-resistant infections, also known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Whilst some EU countries have made significant strides in control of drug-resistant infections, overuse and the spread of AMR urgently need to be addressed in others. As drug-resistant (...)
06/04/2016

[EVENT REPORT] Pharma Pollution: An ignored cause of Antimicrobial Resistance


As the European Commission undertakes its evaluation of the expiring Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), the joint EPHA - Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH) event of 10 December called for a much stronger consideration of the environmental dimension of AMR. A detailed event report is now available. The event was hosted by MEPs Martin Häusling (Greens, Germany) and Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE, SWE). Both MEPs underlined the need for urgent action, with MEP Selimovic concluding (...)
02/03/2016

Tackling AMR: Everybody’s got a role to play, but pharma must do more


Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have responded to letters sent by EPHA and partners urging the industry to make their global supply chains transparent and adopt environmentally responsible management practices. While a number of initiatives are being supported by industry, the problem remains that these are non-binding and fragmented. As manufacturers and suppliers, and nodes in a multi-billion industry, pharma companies must do more and push for mandatory standards and (...)
28/12/2015

Environmental pollution: Neglected dimension of AMR


On 10 December 2015, EPHA and Health Care Without Harm Europe organised an event that discussed the link between AMR and environmental pollution, focusing on antibiotics manufacturing and animal husbandry. The event established that all stakeholders - in particular industry and regulators - must push for enforceable standards and regulation. A new EPHA report further develops this theme. Why is the environment neglected in AMR debates? Despite a number of scandals and growing evidence (...)
28/12/2015

New EPHA report calls for universal access to childhood vaccination


EPHA’s new report on Access to Childhood Vaccination emphasises the importance of ensuring free and equal access to immunisation for all children in Europe no matter their legal or economic status. Issues pertaining to access to vaccinations were also stressed at the first Science-Policy Flu Summit organised by EPHA members the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI). Focus on Childhood Vaccination The report discusses the barriers to parents being fully informed and (...)
07/12/2015

World Antibiotic Awareness Week: High time for global policy action


Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a global health threat of unprecented scale and urgency. During the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) from 16-22 November 2015, which encompassed the 8th European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), emphasis was placed on the global nature of the emergency that requires all institutions and actors to join forces. At the launch event in Brussels, the European Commission, ECDC and WHO sent a clear signal that only effective collaboration can tackle (...)
07/12/2015

Pharmaceutical supply chains: what action is being taken?


EPHA, together with US consumer organisation SumOfUs and UK-based Ethical Consumer, has co-signed letters to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, asking for information on their sources of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their production practices. The recent report, ’Bad Medicine’ published by SumOfUs, provides the context for the letters. It exposes the fact that a number of large pharmaceutical companies are sourcing antibiotic ingredients (...)
09/10/2015

Childhood vaccination: Neglected tool to counter measles outbreaks?


Over 22,000 people were infected with measles across the EU in 2014 and 2015, including one measles-related death. The only effective preventive measure against measles remains vaccination. The recent outbreaks suggest a growing number of susceptible people are not being vaccinated. The reasons for this are varied, including a growing number of parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children and increasing barriers of access to vaccination. To avoid further such outbreaks, it is thus (...)
02/07/2015

AMR’s multiple dimensions call for action on all fronts


The June Uppsala Health Summit (UHS), ‘A World Without Antibiotics’ expanded the discussion about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at European and national level by examining this critical health threat from different angles. Among the key themes discussed were access to antibiotics and to improved diagnostics, the environmental dimension of AMR, collaborative research & innovation, and economic models allowing pharma companies to balance profits and investments for the public (...)
02/07/2015

New report exposes link between global pharmaceutical production and antimicrobial resistance


A new report released on 11 June 2015 by global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org provides a new angle to the debate about the major health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR): the improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste by polluting factories in China, and their links with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. The report raises the urgent need for antibiotic stewardship to avoid a looming public health disaster. According to the report, polluting factories in (...)
19/06/2015