Wednesday, Thomas Tängdén, Medical Director, ReAct Europe, was keynote speaker at 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. The theme for the full-day side event was “Establishing antibiotic efficacy as a global public good” and was organized by World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).
Shortages of old antibiotics more frequently reported
Unavailability of old antibiotics has become an urgent threat to effective treatment of common bacterial infections. Shortages has been more frequently reported in recent years forcing treating physician to use suboptimal therapy with higher risks of treatment failure, side effects and resistance development.
-Shortages is important as it adds to the already heavy burden of accelerated resistance rates and too few new antibiotics in the pipeline. Mapping the current production and supply chains for antibiotics is a first step which is required to identify the reasons behind shortages, says Thomas Tängdén, Medical Director, ReAct Europe.
Possible solutions were discussed at the WFPHA workshop with more than 300 participants and representatives from WHO, GARDP, FIND and other organizations. In working groups, other pressing issues such as how to ensure adequate antibiotic therapy in settings with no or limited access to diagnostics and surveillance were highlighted. Specifically, the need and requirement for point prevalence studies on resistance and availability of antibiotics in low- and middle-income countries were discussed.
The workshop was organised by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA). Several other topics were discussed in keynotes, panel discussions and working groups including drug development, antimicrobial use in the food and agriculture setting and the role of diagnostics.