European Commission adopted a new “EU One Health Action Plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance” (attached). The Action Plan is underpinned by a One Health approach that addresses resistance in both humans and animals. In parallel, the Commission adopted the first deliverable of the plan: EU Guidelines on the prudent use of antimicrobials in human health.
Antimicrobial resistance is a major emerging problem, causing 25,000 deaths and €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion) in healthcare costs per year in the EU alone. Although antibiotic use among European citizens has been on a steady decline over the last 10 years, public awareness remains low – 44% of Europeans are unaware that antibiotics are ineffective against cold and flu.
The commission’s ‘One Health’ plan will address this and other issues by defining 75 objectives around three main topics: making the EU a best practice region, boosting research and innovation, and shaping the global agenda. The plan treats human and animal health as interconnected, focusing as much on decreasing antibiotic use in agriculture as in healthcare. A first document to support the objectives has been released, comprising guidelines for promoting prudent use of antimicrobials targeted at doctors, nurses and pharmacists.
The key objectives of this new plan are built on three main pillars:
- Making the EU a best practice region
- Boosting research, development and innovation
- Shaping the global agenda