29th June 2017
For immediate release
Today the European Commission adopted a new action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), described as "the greatest single challenge in infectious diseases today." - Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.
Adela Maghear, Pharmaceuticals Policy Officer at Health Care Without Harm Europe writes:
"The European Commission's goal to make the EU a best practice region in tackling AMR is admirable yet lacking substance. The quoted figure of 25,000 AMR deaths annually in Europe is out of date (ECDC, 2009); to achieve the Commission’s goal, up to date and accurate data for AMR-related deaths is required."
"it is unimaginable that this action plan does not address pharmaceutical discharges in the environment"
"Unlike the previous action plan (2011-2016), this new plan opens the discussion about AMR in the environment, however the only action proposed on this issue is to close knowledge gaps (i.e. the link between the release of antimicrobials in the environment and the threats and risks this poses to human and animal health)."
"This alone will not be enough to tackle the problem of pharmaceuticals in the environment – an overlooked factor in the rise of AMR." - Adela Maghear, Pharmaceuticals Policy Officer - HCWH Europe
"AMR is a global crisis, projected to cause 10 million deaths by 2050 (The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2016) it is therefore unimaginable that a “One Health” action plan from the EC does not address placing limits on pharmaceutical discharges in the environment or include environmental criteria for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Omitting these points undermines the EC’s plan, rendering it ineffectual."
Preview image: Sebastien Bertrand via Flickr cc