IA position paper Joint response to the European Commission’s pharmaceutical strategy for Europe

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a threat to global health, which continues to worsen, despite emerging awareness of the severity and scale of this problem. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has seen an increase in the use of antibiotics, lack of antimicrobial stewardship and capacity issues in terms of syndromic testing, thus having the unintended consequence of a spread increased AMR, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but also across Europe. The new European Commission Pharmaceutical strategy for Europe proposes a series of actions which aim either directly at combating AMR or which are relevant in the fight against AMR. These proposed initiatives are a step in the right direction, which deserves to be commended. However, their scope and ambition remain to be determined and monitored.

In response, EPHA issued a position paper endorsed by 17 other organizations, including civil society and professional associations. All signatories are members of the AMR Stakeholder Network and have committed to adopt the One Health approach in the fight against AMR.

This document offers recommendations that should ensure that the vision set out in the Medicines Strategy is translated into concrete actions, with rigorous monitoring of how they contribute to tackling this global health threat.

The 6 recommendations of this position paper are:

  1. Empower and federate all health professionals.
  2. Explore new business models, better suited to the antimicrobial market and antimicrobial stewardship.
  3. Reduce dependence on antibiotics through consumption goals, prevention activities, research of non-antibiotic options and practices.
  4. Strengthen institutions and clarify the role of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
  5. Give voice to environmentally sustainable antibiotics.
  6. Explore the role of health promotion and prevention, and patient resilience as a prevention strategy.

The pharmaceutical strategy, shaped by the challenges revealed by COVID-19, is expected to play a crucial role in a European post-pandemic architecture that is more resilient and better prepared to face threats to global health, of which AMR is a prime example.

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