21 September 2016 -- The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) sent an open letter to UN President, H.E. Mr Mogens Lykketoft ahead of the high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In the letter the society welcomes the decision by Secretary General to act on a problem that is predicted to cause 10 million annual deaths by the year 2050.
AMR has been at the core of ESCMID’s activities – at its study groups, committees, courses and conferences over the past years. In addition, ESCMID leads the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), a standing committee jointly organized by ESCMID, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European National Breakpoint Committees. EUCAST deals with breakpoints and technical aspects of phenotypic in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing and functions as the breakpoint committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and ECDC. At present, most antimicrobial breakpoints in Europe have been harmonised by EUCAST.
ESCMID is convinced that a coordinated response by the international community is urgently required to successfully tackle this global threat. Therefore, the society is urging the Secretary General to work towards setting binding targets and taking concrete action to effectively fight AMR. Measures should include improving surveillance of resistance, regulation of the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs in human medicine and animal farming, education and public campaigns on overuse as well as incentives and funding systems to promote the development of new medicines, new diagnostics and innovative interventions to improve antibiotic use and infection control.
As one of the most experienced players in this specialized field, ESCMID is offering the support of its experts to help policy makers develop and implement effective measures to tackle the problem. The society not only has more than 7,000 active members on all continents, but also reaches every expert in the AMR field through its extensive global network.
ESCMID is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases in Europe and beyond. The Society promotes and supports research, education and training and shares good medical practice in the infection disciplines to build capacity throughout the world. www.escmid.org