A new action plan to tackle antibiotic resistance (AMR) has been launched by the European Commission.Underpinned by a One Health approach, the action plan addresses resistance in both humans and animals. It foresees more than 75 actions built on three main pillars:

•    Make Europe a best practice region
•    Boost research, development and innovation
•    Shape the global agenda

The first deliverable of the plan, EU Guidelines on the prudent use of antimicrobials in human health, has already been adopted by the Commission.

“Antimicrobial Resistance is a global growing threat, and if we do not step up our action and commitment now, by 2050 it could cause more deaths than cancer,” commented Vytenis Andriukaitis, commissioner for health and food safety.

“The ambitious agenda I present today focuses actions on key areas with the highest added value for EU countries. By promoting prudent use of antimicrobials in people and animals, consolidating surveillance, improving data collection and boosting research, I aim to make the EU a best practice region worthy of shaping the global agenda on AMR in this increasingly interconnected world”.

Pillar one of the plan is making the EU a best-practice region. This will require better evidence, better coordination and surveillance, in addition to better control measures. This will support Member States to establish, implement and monitor their national One Health Action Plans on AMR made at the 2015 World Health Assembly.

Actions under pillar two aim to boost research and further incentivise innovation. The Commission will work with Member States and industry to address AMR in bacteria, fungi and parasites. Special attention will be given to the WHO priority list of pathogens as well as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and neglected infectious diseases.

Pillar three focuses on shaping the global agenda. The EU will work towards reinforcing engagement and collaboration with multilateral organisations, and intensifying cooperation with the most affected developing countries.

“We need a truly European research effort to save human lives, animals and the environment,” added Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation. “That’s why the One Health Action Plan is so important – it will mean better research coordination and collaboration between EU Member States, as well as public and private sectors across Europe and beyond”.

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