Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have stressed the need to ensure the correct and prudent use of antimicrobials to limit the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Last week, Health Committee MEPs discussed the growing threats posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria and called on the Commission and Member States to restrict the sale of antibiotics by both human and animal health professionals, and to remove any incentives for antimicrobial prescribing. They said firm action should also be taken against sales without prescription of antimicrobials in the European Union (EU).
MEPs called for incentives to make rapid diagnostic tests more widely available to help reduce the use of antimicrobials.
The MEPs said they believe the growing threat posed by AMR can be tackled through a “One Health” approach. “If nothing is done, antimicrobial resistance might cause more deaths than cancer by 2050. We have to start by looking at the whole cycle, because the health of people and animals is interconnected,” said rapporteur on the One Health action plan, Karin Kadenbach.
It is estimated that AMR is responsible for 25,000 deaths and €1.5 billion in extra healthcare costs every year in the EU alone.