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  1. Richard Price

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EU agencies call for improved data on antimicrobial consumption in hospitals

Three agencies of the European Union (EU) have teamed together to publish a joint report that calls for improved data on antimicrobial consumption in hospitals in more European countries, among other recommendations.

The report from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was published at the end of January 2015. Titled “The ECDC/EFSA/EMA first joint report on the integrated analysis of the consumption of antimicrobial agents and occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria from humans and food-producing animals”, the study was carried out at the request of the European Commission.

The report was formed on the basis of 2011 and 2012 monitoring data from five EU monitoring networks under the remit of the three agencies. This includes European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-NET), a Europe-wide network of national surveillance systems coordinated by ECDC providing independent reference data on antimicrobial consumption in EU member states, Iceland and Norway. It collects and analyses antimicrobial consumption data from the community (primary care) and from hospitals.

The joint report highlighted that while in most countries antibiotic consumption is collected separately in primary care and secondary care, some countries (a third of ESAC-NET members) are not able to split the data. This leads to difficulties for ESAC-NET in gaining a full understanding of antibiotic consumption trends in Europe. ESAC-NET is endeavouring to make changes to improve this scenario. Specific data on hospital antibiotics consumption is missing for seven states in the report: Austria, Germany, Poland, UK, Check Republic, Spain and Hungary.

Other findings included:

  • Comparison of antimicrobial consumption data in animals and humans in 2012, both expressed in milligrams per kilogram of estimated biomass, revealed that overall antimicrobial consumption was higher in animals than in humans, although contrasting situations were …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.