Health Intelligence – Europe’s Anti-Microbial Crisis Failure

The European Commission estimates that the European Union suffers a financial loss of around 1.5 billion euros a year because of AMR related healthcare costs and productivity losses. AMR arises when the micro-organisms that cause infection survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill or control them.

The European Parliament’s Public Health Committee has held a workshop calling for “An Urgent, Strong Antimicrobial Action Plan”.

Hosted by Spanish MEP, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, a cardiologist, and Slovenian MEP, Alojz Peterle, a former Slovenian Prime Minister, health experts explained why Europe could see one million deaths by 2050 because of AMR (or antimicrobial resistance).

The rise of AMR is accelerated by medicines misuse, poor hospital hygiene, as well as global trade and travel. Pharmaceutical production of new antibiotics is too slow to compete with the development of superbugs, leaving Europe’s citizens exposed to sickness and death on the scale of a medieval plague.

AMR also has significant impact on the budgets of health care systems.I spoke with Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Co-chair of the European Parliament’s Health Working Group, about what this means for Europe.

Speaking at the workshop, Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said: “Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in particular, in hospitals, are one of the most concerning health issues of our time.

ECDC data show that resistance continues to increase for most bacteria, and that combined resistance to multiple antibiotic groups is already common.”

The European Commission’s AMR Action Plan aims to make Europe a region of best practice. But is enough being done, and is it all about the money?

I asked MEP, Alojz Peterle, Co-chair of the European Parliament’s Health Working Group.With thanks to our sponsor, COPMA, the Italian hospital sanitation services company.

This is your Health Intelligence report.

Presented by Brian Maguire.

Video Editor: Malte Ketelsen

First Camera: Vox Box, European Parliament

Graphics, Credits: European Commission