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Meeting: "Commitments to the responsible use of antimicrobials"

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Antimicrobial resistance (which includes antibiotic resistance) is rapidly becoming one of the greatest concerns of public health, threatening not only the possibility of effectively treating dangerous infections but also advances in modern medicine which rely on infection prevention and control, such as organ transplantation, cancer treatment, various surgeries, and care of preterm infants.

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The problems related to antimicrobial resistance, such as increased mortality, longer hospitalizations, and increased health care and societal costs, can be seen in all countries today, striking already vulnerable populations the hardest. This is a problem that puts both rich and poor at risk. Despite this, not enough has been done to stop the development of antimicrobial resistance.

In November 2014, Norway, together with Brazil, France, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand and in cooperation with the World Health Organization, hosted a WHO member state meeting on antimicrobial resistance as part of the process to draft a Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. The meeting, focusing on the responsible use of antimicrobials in humans, took place in Oslo on the 13-14 November and gathered more than 26 countries and a number of NGO’s and representatives from civil society*.

The meeting resulted in an outcome document with 18 clear recommendations to be taken into account when revising the draft of the WHO Global Action Plan, which will be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2015. The meeting recommendations emphasize the need for combined efforts to assure responsible use while at the same time not limiting access to essential antimicrobials for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The outcome document strongly urges all countries to adopt national action plans on antimicrobial resistance and the establishment of an international framework to support stewardship efforts, an end to sales of counterfeits and falsified drugs, tight regulation of direct-to-consumer marketing of antimicrobials by pharmaceutical companies accompanied by a code of conduct to limit marketing while promoting appropriate use, strengthening the role of health care professionals and providers in promoting responsible use within their practices and societies, and increased efforts to measure, control and prevent the spread of manufacturing waste from production of antimicrobials into the environment.

*Participating countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Armenia, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Vietnam.

Participating organizations: British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC), Chatham House, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), European Commission, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Norwegian Veterinary Institute, ReAct - Action on Antibiotic Resistance, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance (WAAAR), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), World Veterinary Association (WVA)