European Antibiotic Awareness Day
This year also marks on the 18th November the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD).
This year’s manifestation is organised by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) with the aim of raising awareness on antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics and the importance of their rational use. The Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (HALMED) actively participates in rational use of antibiotics in Croatia and continuously promotes their rational and correct use.
Viola Macolić Šarinić, MD, PhD, Assist. Prof., the Head of HALMED, called upon on this occasion on all doctors and patients to prescribe antibiotics and use them responsively and consciously, emphasising: "Even though certain results have been achieved in Croatia in the field of rationalisation, this is our ultimate goal that we have to continue to work on”.
The antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important threats to public health at the global level. It is estimated that only in Europe, infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics cause 25.000 deaths per year. The incorrect and excessive antibiotic prescription and their incorrect use foster antimicrobial resistance and increase the risk for development of other diseases. In order to ensure a continuous access to therapies for frequent and new infective diseases, it is important, on one side, to protect the available and efficacious medicines and, on the other side, develop new therapies.
During the marketing authorisation procedure, HALMED approves also indications that the concerned medicine is used for. Antibiotics are indicated for treatment of bacterial infections, but not the viral ones. It is of outstanding importance to stick to prescribed indications and other instructions for use indicated in the package leaflet and summary of product characteristics. Package leaflets and summaries of product characteristics of all authorised medicinal products in the Republic of Croatia are publically accessible in the Medicines Database section of the HALMED webpages.
The consumption of antimicrobial agents in the Republic of Croatia has a relatively slow growth over the past years as compared to other classes of medicines, based on which a conclusion may be made that antibiotics do not follow the increase trend of consumption as observed for other medicines. In the period from 2007 to 2014, the antibiotic consumption expressed as defined daily dose (DDD) on 1000 inhabitants per day, has increased in average 3% annually, whereas the average consumption increase of all medicines in this period doubled, or it is nearly 6% per year. Also in the recent years the percentage of antibiotic consumption in overall medicines consumption in the RC decreased, so we concluded that in a relative sense, the antibiotic consumption in the RC is decreasing. It is a result of antimicrobial resistance awareness campaigns and raising awareness with regard to antimicrobial resistance issues and directing towards a rational antibiotic use. We can conclude that that we have succeeded in positively acting on rational antibiotic use and to certain extent made an impact of their use, thanks to a number of public education actions and awareness raising campaigns.
HALMED is monitoring from the close the antibiotic use in Croatia and actively promoting the resistance awareness raising. I.e., HALMED over the past years participated in implementation of public educational campaigns aimed at reducing the unnecessary or incorrect antibiotic use, some of them were organised under its auspices. HALMED published on its website a text on correct and conscious us of antibiotics with concrete advices and instructions:
- Antibiotics are intended for treatment of bacterial infections, but not the viral ones.
- Antibiotics do not cure influenza or cold or any throat ache
- Antibiotics do not reduce the body temperature
- Antibiotics should be used only upon doctor’s recommendation, in the same time intervals and de dose should be taken entirely.
HALMED is monitoring the safe use of antibiotics and we hereby remind that every suspected adverse reaction to antibiotics should be notified to HALMED, especially eventual cases of antibiotic inefficacy.
On the 20th November 2015, in the Public Health School "Andrija Štampar” in Zagreb, a Symposium on the European Antibiotic Awareness Day will be held.
Further information on antibiotics and their correct use may be found on the webpages of the public educational campaign on correct use of antibiotics, or here.