A persistent lack of awareness concerning antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the work being done to combat the issue, has been highlighted by the results of a new European Commission (EC) survey.
Despite revealing an encouraging decrease of 6% in the consumption of antibiotics in the EU in recent years, the EC-backed Eurobarometer survey still prompted a call from the European commissioner for health and food safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, for AMR to be addressed with even greater urgency.
“The Eurobarometer shows there is an issue of awareness,” said the commissioner (pictured above), adding that it showed that 57% of citizens remained unaware that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.
“This (lack of awareness) obviously has consequences concerning the use of antibiotics. I would like the EU to be the best practice region in the field of AMR, giving a stronger push to research for the development of new antibiotics, as well as alternatives to antimicrobials.”
Commissioner Andriukaitis said he believed the EU should continue its global involvement in fighting AMR, in addition to maintaining its support of member states’ efforts regarding both human and animal health.
“I look forward to seeing all member states having an AMR action plan in place by next year and am confident this will help to tackle the issue,” he said. “We really need action on this urgently, however.”
The EC said that its own AMR action plan, which was launched in 2011, is currently being evaluated and that the results of this process will, together with the new Eurobarometer results, be fed into ongoing work to identify further “value added” action in the fight against AMR. The issues raised by the “lack of awareness” finding are also due to be discussed by EU health ministers in Luxembourg tomorrow (June 17).