EFPIA is ready to answer the EU’s call for action on antimicrobial resistance
The new European Commission President-elect has made antimicrobial resistance (AMR) a priority – we are working with a broad coalition of stakeholders to find solutions
‘I want you to focus on the full implementation of the European One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance and work with our international partners.’
This was one of the key tasks assigned to the new European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides by incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Tackling one of the great public health challenges of our time requires collaboration. Healthcare stakeholders are already working together to reduce resistance, reduce infections, and find innovative responses to infectious diseases.
AMR is responsible for approximately 33,000 deaths per year in the EU alone – and 700,000 globally. The human cost is devastating. The economic cost is also a major concern: healthcare spending and productivity losses due to multidrug resistant bacteria total €1.5 billion per year. Inaction is not an option.
That’s why, together with 16 organisations active in human and animal health, we have called for AMR to be at the forefront of EU interinstitutional discussions, and urged MEPs to establish a dedicated, holistic AMR parliamentary group in partnership with civil society and stakeholders.
EFPIA fully supports the Commission’s 2017 EU One Health Action Plan against AMR and we are pleased to see President-elect von der Leyen highlighting this approach in her letter last week. The One Health approach demands collaboration between the human, animal, environment and food sectors to address this complex shared problem.
We are convinced that the scale of the AMR challenge requires strong political leadership at EU and Member State level, and partnerships between industries, patients, farmers, environmental experts, healthcare professionals and researchers. We are fully engaged in the EU Joint Action on AMR and Healthcare-Associated Infections (EU-JAMRAI) and we took part in the 2nd EU-JAMRAI Stakeholder Forum in Rome, on 17 September.
The dangers posed by AMR are clear and present. Without concerted action now, AMR could undo decades of progress in healthcare and cost the lives of millions. When I see what our member companies are doing in R&D, stakeholders coming together with a spirit of genuine partnership, and EU leaders making this a political priority, I am encouraged that we will rise to the challenge together.