European Medicines Agency publishes new strategy on combating antimicrobial resistance

News 25/07/2011

The European Medicines Agency has published a PDF icon new strategy for 2011-2015 aimed at combating the threat of antimicrobial resistance that may arise from the use of antimicrobials (mainly antibiotics) in animals.

The strategy, prepared by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP), promotes the continued availability of effective antimicrobials for use in animals while acting to minimise risks to animals or humans arising from their use. The role of the Agency is to foster the implementation of this strategy over the next five years.

The Agency published the strategy for consultation in March 2011 and comments received as a result of the consultation were taken into consideration by the CVMP. An overview of the comments received has also been published. This strategy complements, and forms part of, the wider Community Animal Health Strategy which provides a framework for animal health and welfare measures until 2013.

Much attention is currently focused on the use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine as many of the same medicines are used both in humans and in animals. The use of any antimicrobial medicine kills off those disease-causing agents that are susceptible to it and results in selection of those that are naturally resistant, resulting over time in a progressive loss of effectiveness of the medicine - this is termed antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobials are needed to control infectious diseases in both humans and animals for reasons of public and animal health and the CVMP strategy aims to minimise the risk to humans from the use of antimicrobials in animals.

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