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WHO calls for international action against antimicrobial resistance

By News team

International measures to combat antimicrobial resistance, including introducing or enforcing legislation to stop the sale of antibiotics without a prescription have been called for by the World Health Organization.

Citing a recent Lancet paper, which identified a new gene that conveys resistance to most antibiotics, the WHO highlights the growing and global public health problem of antimicrobial resistance.

It says that countries should be prepared to implement hospital infection control measures to limit the spread of multi-drug resistant strains and to reinforce national policy on prudent use of antibiotics, therefore reducing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The WHO recommends that governments focus their efforts in four main areas: surveillance for antimicrobial resistance; rational use of antibiotics, including education of healthcare workers and the public; introducing or enforcing legislation to stop the sale of antibiotics without a prescription; and strict adherence to infection prevention and control measures.

The Department of Health is currently investigating whether antibacterials should in future be prohibited from reclassification as pharmacy medicines.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11022205

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