|For immediate release
The Hague, 27 September 2017 — The “One Health” approach, which recognises that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected, should be applied to measures to control antimicrobial resistance (AMR) the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) has said in an updated Statement of Policy issued today.
The policy makes a number of new recommendations to governments and pharmacists. Among these are that governments should “demonstrate political will” by mobilising relevant national ministries/departments to improve the capacities of their national systems to address AMR in the “One Health” context, and that they should develop, fund, implement, monitor and evaluate national action plans to contain AMR and formally involve all key stakeholders, including pharmacists.
Moreover, FIP calls on governments to ensure that all antibiotics listed in the World Health Organization Essential Medicines Lists are available at all times and to develop a strategy for ensuring the sustainable production and registration of old antibiotics, which, the federation says, may help address AMR as well as compensate for serious shortages of other antibiotics. Antibiotics should also be produced in pack sizes corresponding to their usual course length, FIP adds.
For pharmacists, the new recommendations include that they should encourage immunisation generally (and specifically for influenza) and implement health education campaigns on the importance of protecting effectiveness of antibiotics, targeted at prescribers, patients and the veterinary and agriculture sectors.
The updated statement also gives particular focus to medicines disposal. It urges governments to develop “return and disposal” programmes for unused or expired antimicrobials. And pharmacists, the federation says, should “take responsibility” for these programmes and proactively inform the public about the proper disposal of antibiotics.
“This new FIP statement reflects developments since our last statement on this topic in 2008, which include the declaration of AMR as a public health emergency and new global policies and commitments against this escalating threat to the control of infectious diseases. FIP will continue to support national pharmacy organisations in facilitating the essential contribution of pharmacists to action plans around the world, which include surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance, their distribution and regulation, and infection prevention and control,” said FIP Vice-President Dr Eduardo Savio.