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New report exposes link between global pharmaceutical production and antimicrobial resistance

A new report released on 11 June 2015 by global consumer watchdog SumOfUs.org provides a new angle to the debate about the major health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR): the improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste by polluting factories in China, and their links with some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. The report raises the urgent need for antibiotic stewardship to avoid a looming public health disaster. According to the report, polluting factories in (...)

Joint Procurement of medical countermeasures: A Solidarity Tool?

On 29 April 2015, Public Health England organised a workshop for the European Commission in Luxembourg on the joint procurement of medical countermeasures, which featured a host of speakers from different Commission Directorate Generals, EMA, ECDC, WHO, and industry. One of the key messages was that the new Joint Procurement Agreement (JPA) tool is potentially available for many different countermeasures as long as they fall into the legal framework of serious cross-border health threats. (...)

[Press release] European Antibiotic Awareness Day: Fighting ‘superbugs’ to save lives

Brussels, 18 November – Today marks the 7th European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) (1) which promotes a more prudent use of antibiotics to tackle the growing challenge of multi-drug resistant ‘superbugs’ (2). Around 25,000 patients die every year in the European Union (EU) as a result of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance will lead to significant health service savings since related costs amount to (...)

5th ESWI Influenza Conference highlights benefits of vaccination

The fifth international influenza conference organised by EPHA member the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) took place in Riga on 14-17 September. A number of plenary and ’science/policy interface’ sessions examined the issue of low vaccination uptake in many Member States, as well as other issues related to pandemic preparedness and communication aspects of influenza-related health threats. In the opening plenary, ’Why should influenza be a public (...)

Two new influenza publications & Save the Date 5th Influenza Conference

The European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) has released two new publications which will be of interest for readers with an interest in health systems, in particular health threats and pandemic preparedness. The FluQuest report is an account of the ESWI workshop held on 3 May where the outcomes of the ESWI survey on pandemic preparedness in Europe were shared and placed into context. The second document is the report of the ESWI Flu Summit that was held on the previous day (...)

[EPT] Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – EP report: EU-wide plan to tackle the proliferation of AMR (7 November 2013)

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – EP report - EU-wide plan to tackle the proliferation of AMR Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been described as one of the biggest threats to public health - a worrisome development since resistance to drugs designed to treat severe diseases is becoming more widespread. In 2001 the WHO published its Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, describing what AMR is and what strategies should be (...)

‘Innovation in Veterinary Medicines and the Competitiveness of Livestock Farming in the EU’

The event organised by Zoetis (a global animal health company) examined the challenges faced by the animal livestock industry. EPHA attended the meeting to collect and present the key messages of the workshop for EPHA Members. the final Zoetis Workshop Summary report Sandra Beaty from Zoetis stressed that EU legislation should be based on evidences and science. In his presentation Prof. David Leaver, Emeritus Professor The Royal Agricultural College UK, pointed out that if (...)

Council of the EU discusses Serious Cross-Border Threats to Health

The Council of the EU configuration for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers (EPSCO) met on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 December 2012. During its deliberations, it discussed the European Commission’s proposal for a Decision on serious cross-border threats to health, which is currently awaiting adoption by the full plenary of the European Parliament. The Commission proposal seeks to extend the mandate of the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) to cover all serious (...)

*Updated* EPHA briefing on Antimicrobial Resistance

As consumption of antimicrobials has increased, the natural processes of adaptation and mutation have resulted in new, resistant strains of common diseases. Unresponsive to traditional treatments, these pose a major threat to public health, as demonstrated by the proliferation of regional and global pandemics. EPHA has updated its briefing on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) ahead of 2012 European Antibiotics Awareness Day (November 18) and in light of the European Parliament’s Own (...)

European Parliament Public Health Committee votes on Serious Health Threats proposal

On Wednesday 10 October 2012 the European Parliament’s Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted to adopt the draft report prepared by MEP Gilles Pargneaux (S&D, France) on serious cross border threats to health. The report makes a number of amendments to the European Commission’s proposal for a Decision of the Parliament and the Council, but broadly supports the Commission’s aims and objectives. The Commission proposal seeks to extend (...)