This Sunday, 18 November, will be the fifth annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD). Organised by the European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC), the event is designed to raise awareness about the threat to public health from antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The EPHA position on this issue is presented below.
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) . 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 . 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 .
The European Parliament’s recent Own Initiative Report on the Microbial Challenge  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) , 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 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