Open letter to MEPs on AMR

12/09/2019

Today, 17 organisations active in human and animal health have sent an open letter to the Members of the European Parliament, urging them to bring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to the forefront of EU interinstitutional discussions and to support the establishment of a dedicated AMR parliamentary group.

AMR is a major and complex public health threat that requires concerted efforts, involving all stakeholders. AMR is estimated to be responsible for 33,000 deaths per year in the EU alone and 700,000 deaths per year globally, including 230,000 deaths from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis . It has been calculated that the extra healthcare costs and productivity losses due to multidrug-resistant bacteria in the EU total €1.5 billion each year . AMR is also a threat to animals, as it can cause health and welfare problems.

The undersigned civil society organisations and stakeholders believe in the need for cooperation to sustain continued and targeted EU action to address AMR. Like many significant healthcare challenges, no single actor has the answer and wide-ranging stakeholder collaboration is needed to tackle AMR. It is only through concerted action across all sectors and stakeholders that effective solutions can be found. In other words, taking a One Health approach, as recognised by the European Commission in its 2017 European One Health Action plan against AMR.

The European Parliament has an important role to play in ensuring that the EU remains on the front line of the global battle against AMR. The signing organisations look forward to working with the Members of the European Parliament to sustain EU progress in fighting against AMR.

Commenting on the letter, AnimalhealthEurope Secretary General Roxane Feller said:
“The animal health sector has been long committed to playing its part in the global fight against AMR and implementing the One Health approach. Antibiotics are a precious resource for protecting both our health and that of our animals, and the animal medicines industry has been active for a number of years now raising awareness and working with vets and farmers to ensure good antibiotic stewardship. Antibiotics will always be an integral part of the vet toolbox and our commitment to safeguarding their efficacy is unwavering, hence our strengthened focus on preventive solutions, as well as diagnostics and monitoring to allow for a more targeted animal health management. Sharing our best practices and working together via a dedicated parliamentary group can only serve to strengthen our collective actions to address antibiotic resistance.”

Signing organisations (in alphabetical order)

• Active Citizenship Network – Cittadinanzattiva
• AnimalhealthEurope
• Biomedical Alliance in Europe (BioMed Alliance)
• European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN)
• European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
• European Patients’ Forum (EPF)
• European Platform for the Responsible Using of Medicines in Animals (EPRUMA)
• Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM)
• International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
• Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE)
• Health First Europe
• Medicines for Europe
• MedTech Europe
• Pharmaceutical Group of European Union (PGEU)
• TB Alliance
• European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP)
• Vaccines Europe