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SUMMARY

European Institutions
European Organisations
Civil Society
International Media
National Media

European Institutions

Commission releases follow-up Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance

European Commission, 29 June

Last week, the Commission released its new action plan: a European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance. As the name already suggests, the One Health approach will be the basis for the new action plan, which means that the environmental aspect will be more addressed, just as the link between humans and animals for the spread of AMR. The new plan is build on three main pillars: making the EU a best practice region; boosting research, development and innovation; and intensifying EU efforts worldwide to shape the global agenda. 
Read Action Plan

European Organisations

ECDC survey on antimicrobial resistance in intensive care units

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control,
29 June 2017

ARISE, Antimicrobial Resistance in Intensive Care Units - a survey in Europe, is established to obtain updated information on the perceptions and experiences of European intensive care physicians who manage patients infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The survey is open for participation until 10 July 2017. 
Go to survey

Civil Society

A compelling insight into the current AMR situation in Romania

European Public Health Alliance, 03 July 2017

On the basis of a series of expert interviews, a study was commissioned by EPHA to illustrate the urgent need for coordinated, well-resourced and effective EU policy action and programmes to tackle AMR  Whilst Romania is 'in the red zone' in terms of excessive antibiotic use and prevalence of several trains of drug-resistant bacteria, it is by no means an exception regarding inadequate finding for public health, health worker shortages, or lacking equipment and technology to safeguard patient safety. 
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EPHA's response to the Commission's new Action Plan on AMR

European Public Health Alliance, 29 June 2017

EPHA welcomed the Commission's effort to go beyond the previous Action Plan, but stressed that the new Action Plan had major flaws in terms of sound public policy-making. Unless the new One Health Network commits governments to develop reduction targets and make use of the policy tools available to them to develop and revise their own Action Plans, the Commission missed a major opportunity to even out the huge differences within Europe, and between Europe and the rest of the world. 
Read statement

EPHA releases Position Paper on the follow-up EU Action Plan

European Public Health Alliance, 08 May 2017

EPHA’s new Position Paper on the follow-up EU Action Plan on AMR, which follows EPHA’s response to the public consultation on possible activities outlined by the Commission, further elaborates on crucial points for an ambitious and coordinated European response.
Read Paper

Antibiotic resistance is the best case for 'more Europe'

Euractiv, 28 June 2017

Nina Renshaw, secretary general of EPHA, called upon an effective EU response in order to tackle antimicrobial resistance. She mentioned the Colectiv tragedy in Romania as a painful lesson for closer European cooperation. Romania being in the red zone amongst the worst performers, and on the other side The Netherlands and Sweden as best practice examples, Europe is both a best and worst practice region. A study conducted by EPHA identified the needs for a structured long-term support to combat AMR in Romania. An EU coordinated AMR response must be backed up with policies and funds, starting with the weakest link.
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Norway's battle against antimicrobial resistance in the agricultural sector

Euractiv, 27 June 2017

The Norwegian minister for Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, raised AMR in meetings with the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and at the G20 meeting in Berlin this year. Norway has low antibiotic consumption rates and favorable prescription patterns, and therefore limited resistance problems. Norway adopted its national strategy against AMR for the period 2015-2020, a very ambitious strategy, which among others contributed to one of the lowest resistance rates in farmed animals in the world. 
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Public health at risk by possible formaldehyde ban

Euractiv, 16 June 2017

Salmonella, one of Europe's most prevalent food-borne diseases, has been on the retreat the past decade, but that trend is now at risk of being stopped, as formaldehyde might be banned. Formaldehyde is highly effective against Salmonella, but is also a threshold carcinogen. According to Euractiv, banning is not the solution, but control measures and exposure limits for workers are essential. 
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ReAct brief on AMR for the World Health Assembly

ReAct, May 2017

ReAct recently published a briefing on AMR as an agenda item of the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva. This briefing, among others, made a call for a stronger engagement of civil society and other independent experts for further anchoring of Action Plan development; further development of decision tools to help guide decisions around prioritization and resource allocation; better availability of sustainable access to effective antibiotics and other health technologies; and an improved transparency of the ad hoc Inter-Agency coordination Group.
Read briefing

Innovation in diagnostics for fighting antimicrobial resistance

Health First Europe, 31 May 2017

Health First Europe, in collaboration with the Alliance of patients’ Organisations (IAPO) and the World Alliance against Antibiotic Resistance (WAAR), launched their White Paper on Rapid diagnostic technologies to tackle AMR. Innovative diagnostic technologies can contribute, as part of a broader and coordinated plan, to reduce the misuse of antibiotics. Among others, the White Paper calls upon the European Commission and the ECDC to promote the use of rapid diagnostic technologies in screening programme guidelines for drug-resistant bacteria.
Read Paper

Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment

European Public Health Alliance and contributors, 02 June 2017

Commissioner Biénkowska received a letter from EPHA, HCWH Europe, and Changing Markets in response to the Commission's strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment. This letter calls upon, among others, ambitious legislation to reduce pharmaceutical pollution and it highlights the unintended consequences arising from the release of increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals in the environment.  
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International Media

A major shortage of a hospital antibiotic is putting patients at risk

The Guardian, 01 July 2017

There is an international shortage of piperacillin-taxobactam, an antibacterial combination drug, usually used intravenously in intensive care. It is also used to treat a wide variety of conditions among which cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and diabetic foot infections. Other options doctors were having to use were less powerful or last line antibiotics.
Read more

National Media

The invisible enemy: deadly superbugs

Das Erste (Germany), 08 May 2017

In May, the German television channel Das Erste released a documentary: the invisible enemy - deadly superbugs from pharma factories. The documentary reveals that pharmaceutical companies are fueling the creation of deadly superbugs. 
Watch video

Antibiotic attains new powers in battle against superbugs

The Irish Times, 30 May 2017

Scientists in the United States succeeded in modifying a lifesaving antibiotic called Vancomycin. They find a way to make it 1000 times more potent than the old drug: an advance they predict will reduce the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections for years to come. 
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