Many of you may have heard of the Patient Safety Task Force, a joint Eucomed-EDMA Group looking at the topics of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). AMR is high on the agendas of the various EU Institutions, but also of global players including WHO, and the UN.
MedTech Europe developed a position paper on this important subject to outline the role of medtech in this crucial debate, and our willingness as an industry to come up with sustainable solutions on AMR.
- The Medtech industry provides solutions for the prevention and diagnosis of resistance throughout the patient pathway. For example, patients can be screened for multidrug resistant organisms before and during their stay in the hospital to mitigate exposure. The chance of developing an infection in the first place can also be avoided through the use of for example antiseptic solutions such as body disinfectants or antibacterial sutures.
- These solutions can only help if they reach patients as early as possible. It is therefore important to create the proper environment to enable the uptake of technologies to diagnose and prevent AMR. The development of new funding and business models for improved access is essential to allow this.
- The EU and Member States should work together to define complementary strategies. As a first step, the continuation of the EU Action Plan on AMR will be essential. Member States can then implement evidence based guidance on infection control and national indicators as well as surveillance systems to reduce their rates of resistance.
- In hospital and healthcare facilities, it will be important to have proper antibiotic stewardship practices in place. The EU can help define what ‘good practice’ antimicrobial stewardship looks like and enable exchange of best practices.
- Education remains at the forefront of the fight against resistance. Behavioural change programmes targeting both patients and healthcare professionals are indispensable.