As the European Commission undertakes its evaluation of the expiring Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), the joint EPHA – Health Care Without Harm Europe (HCWH) event of 10 December called for a much stronger consideration of the environmental dimension of AMR. A detailed event report is now available.
The event was hosted by MEPs Martin Häusling (Greens, Germany) and Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE, SWE). Both MEPs underlined the need for urgent action, with MEP Selimovic concluding that political will needs to be created both at Commission and Member State level to go beyond recommendations and strategic plans and really change the use of antibiotics throughout their life cycle, as well as attitudes and behaviours.
Expert speakers from the WHO, the European Commission, the UK Review on AMR, as well as representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, the veterinary sector and civil society organisations gathered to discuss how the often neglected issue of environmental pollution could become fully integrated into EU level debates about AMR. In particular, the event aimed to raise awareness of relevant issues pertaining to the manufacturing processes of antibiotics and their use in veterinary medicine.
The event represented the first part of EPHA’s new campaign on AMR, which will be further developed in 2016 with a focus on promoting a One Health approach; policy coherence between the European, national and global levels; and drawing up public health specific recommendations that can be translated into specific, targeted actions and legislation, to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are kicked into motion. This view also appears to be shared by a growing number of AMR stakeholders.