Magazine article European Social Policy

Health : Overuse of Antibiotics: More Public Awareness Needed

Magazine article European Social Policy

Health : Overuse of Antibiotics: More Public Awareness Needed

Article excerpt

Although Europeans are generally aware of the problem of overusing antibiotics, member states should continue to inform the general public and implement the Council's recommendation on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents (used to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms). This is the conclusion of two documents released by the European Commission, on 9 April: a Eurobarometer survey carried out in November and December 2009 on public attitudes towards the use of antibiotics and a progress report on the 2001 Council recommendation.

In its progress report based on data provided by member states, the Commission reviews the implementation of Council Recommendation 2002/77/EC, which asked member states and the EU executive to apply strategies to combat further development of microbial resistance. This is the second implementing report, making it possible to assess progress over the last five years (the first report was based on data for the year 2003 and the second on data for 2008). Advances are seen in several areas. While only one state was capable in 2003 of providing information on the sale of antimicrobial agents, all 27 now have a good idea of the extent of such sales and 18 report that the sale of antibiotics without a prescription is not a significant source of misuse. Although progress has been slow, 17 countries have organised information campaigns on antimicrobial resistance, inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents, vaccination programmes and general hygiene measures. More generally, at the end of 2008, 16 countries had a national strategy in place and eight were developing a strategy. Only four member states had no strategy and/or were not planning to develop one.

Based on these findings, the Commission concludes its report by identifying areas of future work. Implementation of the recommendation could be speeded up by national strategies, participation of players, closer collaboration between the human and animal health sectors and external evaluation of national programmes. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.