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EU news for August
  1. Richard Price
  1. Correspondence to Richard Price, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacy, 3 Rue Abbe Cuypers, Brussels, Brussels 1040, Belgium; richard.price{at}

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World Health Assembly passes resolutions on antimicrobial drug resistance and access to medicines

The 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva closed its session on 24 May 2014 after adopting more than 20 resolutions on public health issues of global importance, including antimicrobial drug resistance, access to medicines and health technology assessment.

On antimicrobial drug resistance, delegates expressed their growing concern of antimicrobial resistance and urged governments to strengthen national action and international collaboration. This requires sharing information on the extent of resistance and the use of antibiotics in humans and animals. It also involves improving awareness among health providers and the public of the threat posed by resistance, the need for responsible use of antibiotics, and the importance of good hand hygiene and other measures to prevent infections.

The resolution urges Member States to strengthen drug management systems, to support research for extending the lifespan of existing drugs, and to encourage the development of new diagnostics and treatment options.

As requested in the resolution, WHO will develop a draft global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance for presentation to the World Health Assembly for approval next year.

On access to medicines, the World Health Assembly approved WHO's strategy to help countries improve access to essential medicines. Key principles include selecting a limited range of medicines on the basis of the best evidence available, efficient procurement, affordable prices, effective distribution systems and rational use. WHO essential medicines list was recognised as a valuable tool that enables countries to identify a core set of medicines which need to be available for providing quality medical care.

On regulatory system strengthening, the World Health Assembly mandated WHO to continue its important role globally in medicine regulation through establishing necessary norms and standards, supporting regulatory capacity-building and strengthening safety monitoring programmes.

Regarding health technology assessment, following the adoption of a resolution, WHO will support capacity-building …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.