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WHO/Europe and ECDC intensify collaboration on infectious diseases and health emergencies
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Policy & Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Boulevard Brand Whitlock 87, 1200 Brussels, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Dr Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), met at the WHO Regional Office in Copenhagen, where they expressed their commitment to strengthen collaboration on infectious diseases and disease outbreaks by establishing operational guidelines on collaborative actions. This will support European countries in reaching the sustainable development goals through addressing communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance and strengthening immunisation.

WHO/Europe and ECDC have been collaborating on public health development in Europe via a memorandum of understanding (2005) and an administrative agreement (2011), focusing on communicable diseases surveillance, prevention and control, risk assessment and communication, health emergencies and the use of International Health Regulations to prevent and respond to health threats. A joint Coordination Group of WHO/Europe and ECDC has been set up, with annual joint activity plans, information sharing and regular interaction by staff in activity implementation.

EMA: defect with Buccolam plastic syringes and PRAC recommended suspension for hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has reported a defect with Buccolam plastic syringes, urging parents and carers to carefully inspect the syringes before giving the medicine to children.

There have been a few cases in which the syringe cap did not come off completely, leaving a translucent tip-cap which stopped the medicine from leaving the syringe. This has sometimes resulted in the tip-cap coming off inside the patient’s mouth and being inhaled or ingested. A letter will be sent alerting doctors and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense Buccolam. The company marketing Buccolam is resolving the issue for new syringes, but syringes already on the market and those already dispensed to patients need to be carefully checked before use.

The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has recommended the suspension for HES solutions for infusion, following a review initiated on 17 October 2017.

These products are used as plasma volume replacement following …

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  • Section 6: Education and Research

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.