News about the G-7 Leaders’ Summit in Germany was somewhat overshadowed by the news about the South Korea MERS-CoV outbreak, at least in this part of the world. However, antimicrobial resistance was on the agenda, and can be found in the joint declaration by the leaders of G-7.
The Annex to the Declaration can be found here. I include below the entire section on antimicrobial resistance:
“The G7 strongly supports the first Global Action Plan by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). We will develop or review, operationalize and share our national action plans and keep up our cooperation with various organizations and stakeholders with a focus on the areas listed below:
Combating AMR has to be addressed in a two-fold approach: by conserving the effectiveness of existing and future antimicrobials and by engaging in research and development for new antimicrobials, vaccines, treatment alternatives and rapid diagnostic tools.
- We are strongly committed to the One Health approach, encompassing all areas of human and animal health as well as agriculture and the environment. Our national action plans will be based on this concept.
- We have a responsibility to improve the prevention of infectious diseases as well as to be more prudent when using antimicrobials. To achieve this we need a holistic approach and concrete measures to retain the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents. We encourage and support other countries to join these efforts.
- We will specifically foster the prudent use of antibiotics1 by committing to use them for therapeutic reasons under supervision in compliance with national and or jurisdictional legislation and after individual diagnosis. We will increase knowledge and responsible use through the implementation of stewardship programmes for medical and veterinary professionals as well as livestock producers.
- We highlight the importance of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine which should be available through prescription or the veterinary equivalent only, and the fact the appropriate use of antibiotics contributes to the reduction of antimicrobial resistance.
- We flag the need to phase out the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animal husbandry in the absence of risk analysis.
- We recognize the importance of increasing awareness and knowledge of prevention and control of infections and on AMR among human and animal health professionals and the general public.
- We need to strengthen surveillance of existing and emerging patterns of AMR in medical, veterinary and agricultural settings and via environmental pathways in order to fill knowledge gaps in the interest of effective strategies to fight AMR.
- We have to stimulate innovation by increasing basic research, research on epidemiology, and the development and access of new antimicrobials, alternative therapies, vaccines, and rapid point of care diagnostics and we take note of the Independent Review on AMR.
- In this context we are committed to intensifying our dialogue with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries which plays a vital role in our close collaboration with the WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
- We call on our Ministers to pool the national efforts and hold a G7-Meeting in order to promote responsible use of antibiotics among all relevant stakeholders and share best practices.”
It remains to be seen what will come of it, as some now feel that the G-7 is in many ways irrelevant and out of date. Nonetheless, concrete steps to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance are already being taken by most members of G-7, and other countries as well.