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Europe: European Antibiotic Awareness Day 2022: Preventing antimicrobial resistance together

2022/11/22  EMA

November 18 was European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), the annual European health initiative to support and promote the prudent use of antibiotics.

It is important to increase awareness about the risk of antimicrobial resistance as a global public health threat and to take action now. According to the latest data:

  • 35,000 Europeans die yearly because of antibiotic-resistant infections;
  • Antimicrobial resistance causes an additional EUR 1.5 billion extra healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU;
  • There is a worrying lack of knowledge about antibiotics. For example, one in two citizens still think that antibiotics are effective against viruse

To mark this year’s EAAD, EMA has launched a social media campaign to highlight the importance of using antibiotics prudently.

A collection of info cards focuses on what patients, healthcare professionals, veterinarians, farmers, public health leaders and the pharmaceutical industry in their respective roles can do to make sure that these important medicines remain effective to treat infections in patients.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria and other microorganisms change over time and develop resistance to medicines. As a result, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become less effective. Overuse or misuse of antibiotics can exacerbate the situation. Infections caused by resistant bacteria are more difficult to treat. They require more care as well as alternative and more expensive antibiotics, which may have more severe side effects. Prudent use of antibiotics can help to slow the process and ensure that treatments continue to be available to treat common and emerging diseases caused by bacteria.

For more information on EMA’s role in the global response to antimicrobial resistance, visit the dedicated webpage.

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