Strasbourg, 7 April 2011: The European Parliament’s celebration of World Health Day 2011

Tackling Anti-microbial Resistance and Ensuring Effective and Innovative Strategies for Future Generations  The European Parliament’s celebration of World Health Day 2011 – High-level breakfast roundtable - posterTackling Anti-microbial Resistance and Ensuring Effective
and Innovative Strategies for Future Generations

The European Parliament’s celebration of World Health Day 2011 –
High-level breakfast roundtable


The issue of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) has a huge impact on health systems and individuals in Europe, and across the world; as bacterial diseases are becoming increasingly virulent and resistant to currently available treatments. Resistance to antibiotics presents a major challenge as resistant bacteria dramatically reduce the possibility of treating infectious diseases effectively and increase the risk of complications and death for patients with infections.

As more people develop resistance, new and innovative antibiotics will need to be created and made available. The pharmaceutical industry therefore has an important role to play by expanding their respective pipelines. It is often taken for granted that there are enough antibiotics available, and as a result there is not enough of a focus on the development of new medicines. The global community needs to recognize existing market mechanisms do not work and that more incentives and ideas are needed to increase the pipeline of new antibiotics.

The World Health Organization, the European Centre for Disease Control; groups such as ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance; academics such as the Office of Health Economics, and European policy-makers, are all dedicated to providing the scientific evidence and political incentives to reverse this disturbing trend and to spur innovation in public and private spheres. The industry should support these efforts and work in partnership with key stakeholders to stem resistance, and to develop new medicines to meet the needs of patients and health systems.

Desired outcomes of the event

  • Remind MEPs, stakeholders and policymakers of the extent of the health challenge posed by AMR;
  • To promote and support education and prevention efforts at EU and Member State level by WHO Europe, the European Union and the European Centre for Disease Control;
  • Reiterate the European Parliament’s commitment to coordinated EU action to raise awareness of AMR and to foster and support innovation of new antibiotics.
  • Highlight the research and development needs and barriers- as highlighted by WHO Europe, ECDC, the Office of Health Economics and industry – as well as the need for market incentives triggering more investments to offer a sustainable response to the challenges set by infectious diseases.

Proposed structure

The objectives and scope for the roundtable should be made clear to participants beforehand in order to give the session a purposive direction (e.g. focus on the need for further research and awareness).

When: 7th April 8:00– 9:30 a.m.

Where: European Parliament, Private Salon next to the MEP Restaurant, Louise Weiss Low Building, Strasbourg

Format: A roundtable with approx. 25 participants, lasting 1 ½ hours.

Opening intro (10-12m)
– Welcome and Introduction by Ms. Marisa Matias (MEP) –
welcoming the participants, introducing the co-hosts, outlining the format of the event and introducing Ms. Marina Yannakoudakis (MEP) to set the scene.

Ms. Marina Yannakoudakis (MEP), setting the scene about EU level activities with regard to AMR since the Swedish Presidency Conclusions in 2009 and AMR events under the Belgian Presidency and with ECDC.

Speaker  1 (5-7 m)             
Mr Kees De Joncheere
, WHO Europe Regional Adviser Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals to highlight that today is World Health Day and WHO focused the celebrations on AMR because of increasing global rise in AMR; reference WHO Europe’s efforts to fight AMR across Europe and highlight WHO recommendations on how to spur innovation on new antibiotics (including AMR series – Race against time to develop new antibiotics) and highlight how stakeholders such as the EU, ECDC and industry can play a role in that battle.

Speaker 3 (5-7m)               
Dr. Marc Sprenger,
Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will present the ECDC contributions to AMR, and the importance of prudent use of both existing and new antibiotics. Furthermore, the ECDC and EMA’s recent gap analysis will be highlighting the difference between the public health need for antibiotics and the contents of the existing research pipelines. Finally, the ECDC contribution to TAFTAR will be presented.

Q&A session (15 min)    
Discussions moderated by co-chairperson Mr. Christofer Fjellner (MEP) who will briefly mention the outcomes of the ReAct event on AMR in March 2011 to set the scene for the discussions. This part of the event should encourage discussion about the importance of antibiotics; irrational use and the policy and health response to the threat; and the critical need for innovation.

Speaker 2 (5-7m)               
Ms. Ingrid Petersson
, EU Science Relations and Collaborations Lead, at AstraZeneca will provide the industry perspective on AMR, commitment to engaging with WHO Europe, ECDC and the EU; state-of-play on new antibiotics and barriers to innovation. Also discuss policy support needed to spur industry response on AMR.

Speaker 4 (5-7m)               
A presentation by Ms. Priya Sharma, Health Economist at the Office of Health Economics on key policy recommendations for Europe which OHE hopes will be incorporated in the European Commission’s proposals on AMR from their report “New Drugs to Tackle Antimicrobrial Resistance: Analysis of EU Policy Options.

Speaker 4 (5-7m)               
A presentation by Mr. Nabil Safrany, Policy Officer Health Threats, European Commission – on the Commission’s work on AMR including TATFAR (EU-US taskforce); recommendations moving forward including R&D and innovation.

Q&A session (15 min)    
A question and answer/tour de table session should be facilitated and moderated by co-chairperson Ms. Marisa Matias. This part of the event should encourage debate, focusing on the questions supplied by the speakers. This section should be carefully recorded and monitored to inform the follow up to the roundtable.

Conclusion (10 min)        
A summation of the topics discussed and conclusions reached will be provided by Co-chair Dr. Antonyia Parvanova (MEP). This should involve outlining the next steps and the European Parliament’s continued support for this effort.