Ministers tackle antimicrobial resistance
By Sophie Petitjean | Monday 25 June 2012
The health ministers invite the member states to draw up and implement national strategies or action plans to combat resistance to antimicrobials (such as antibiotics) in conclusions adopted in Luxembourg, on 22 June. Entitled ‘One health,” the conclusions focus on the impact of antimicrobial resistance in the human health sector and in the veterinary sector.
The ministers note that resistance to antimicrobials is increasing in Europe and globally in both humans and animals, “leading to poor options for treatment whilst diminishing the quality of life and to important economic consequences in terms of augmenting health care costs and productivity losses”. They invite the member states to draw up guidelines on the treatment of humans and animals with antimicrobial agents and on professional training programmes.
The strategies or action plans should also include the following elements: enforcing national legislation that bans all illegal sales of antimicrobials; limiting the use of critically important antibiotics to cases where microbiological diagnosis and susceptibility testing has determined that no other type of antimicrobials will be effective; and limiting prophylactic use of antimicrobials to cases with defined clinical needs. The draft conclusions ask member states and the Commission to examine the conditions for prescription and sale of antimicrobials to determine whether current practices may lead to over-prescription, overuse or misuse of antimicrobials.