Dutch presidency seeks common action on antimicrobial resistance

Feb 11th, 2016

The Dutch presidency has told Europe’s ministers of health and agriculture they must work together if antimicrobial resistance is to be tackled reports Research Professional.

Europe’s governments must set aside worries about subsidiarity and make tackling antimicrobial resistance a common priority, Edith Schippers, the Dutch minister of health, welfare and sport, told delegates at a Ministerial Conference on Antibiotic Resistance.

Speaking at the presidency-organised conference on 9-10 February, Schippers said that, although she shared concerns about subsidiarity in the EU, “antimicrobial resistance is a cross-border health threat, whether we like it or not”.

The conference brought together health and agriculture ministers and emphasised tackling antimicrobial resistance according to a “one-health” approach by drawing on a mix of disciplines including human and animal health, the environment and agriculture.

In her speech, Schippers said that there was room for greater cooperation on antimicrobial resistance under existing EU regulations, but that political will was needed to develop new antibiotics and diagnostic methods.

She said that antimicrobial resistance and the use of antibiotics are still rising despite the existence of a European action plan for tackling resistance, and called on ministers not to look back in 10 years’ time having failed to reverse this trend.

The ministers were also addressed by Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, and by Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European commissioner for health and food safety.

On 9 February, the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, an initiative from the Wellcome Trust and Australia’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the University of Queensland that screens existing compounds for antimicrobial activity, announced an agreement with the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative’s €85-million Enable project to help candidate antimicrobials progress into clinical trials.

Note: This article is copied from Research Professional