By Dental Tribune International

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The Council of European Dentists (CED), the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) have warmly welcomed a new plan by the European Commission to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Actions include practical advancements, such as more rapid, cheaper and reliable diagnostic tests, and on a political level, exchanging good practices and data analysis with non-EU countries.

The members of the organisations especially appreciate that the European One Health Action Plan recognises that human health, animal health and the environment are interconnected and that the importance of the One Health approach is emphasised in the proposed actions. They strongly believe that it is only by working together, showing strong leadership and taking full responsibility that it will be possible to turn the tide, raise awareness on this health threat and engage the whole society in responsible use of antimicrobials, to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics.

“The CED recognises that dentistry will suffer a significant crisis by the loss of antibiotics as effective agents in the treatment of human infection,” CED President Dr Marco Landi stated. “It is therefore essential in terms of both public and oral health that dentists only prescribe antibiotics when they are necessary and appropriate and that patients are helped to understand that antibiotics do not cure toothache.”

CPME President Dr Jacques de Haller said, “The AMR threat requires a shared responsibility of all actors, including of course healthcare professionals. Prescribers should be encouraged and provided with appropriate tools to make evidence-based prescription and to avoid blind prescriptions. Surveillance systems should become active and share best practices and comparable data with prescribers.”

The new European action plan against AMR of the European Commission is structured around three pillars:

Making the EU a best-practice region
The CPME, CED and FVE believe that the EU can be a best-practice region and have called upon the European Commission to focus on assisting countries that face greater difficulties in managing AMR. The sharing of experience and best practice and allocation of necessary resources to cover particular needs should be ensured for all member states. Surveillance systems should be strengthened by improving data collection and by establishing effective two-way communication.

Boosting research, development and innovation
The organisations have called for more rapid, cheap and reliable diagnostic tests to become available to doctors, dentists and veterinarians. Surveillance systems should be enlarged to cover also results from pen-side diagnostics. Remuneration and reimbursement schemes should facilitate the use of appropriate diagnostic tests before any antibiotic prescription for human or animal health.

Shaping the global agenda on antimicrobial resistance
The CPME, CED and FVE have urged the EU to show strong leadership at global level. The EU should intensify cooperation with other parts in the fight against AMR by exchanging good practices. Additionally, data collection and analysis on AMR and antibiotic use in other parts of the world should be encouraged. Europe is unique in having an extensive and transparent analysis, as presented in the Joint Interagency Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance Analysis Report, the second of which is planned to be published mid-July. This should be an example for other parts of the world to follow.

The organisations have encouraged all EU member states to work in close collaboration with the prescribers of antibiotics—doctors, dentists and veterinarians—to ensure efficient, practical and achievable goals in their national action plans and proper implementation of the European action plan against AMR.