10 October 2018

European Parliament Event Focuses on Ways to Confront Major Health Issues Posed by Antimicrobial Resistance

Emphasis on need to promote responsible use of veterinary medicines to ensure food safety and protection of agriculture

 

BRUSSELS, October 10, 2018 – MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, participated in an interactive workshop held at the European Parliament, entitled “Looking Beyond Antibiotics: The Role of Prevention in the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance.” Hosted by Members of the European Parliament Jan Huitema and Michel Dantin, the event drew nearly 70 policymakers and key stakeholders in agricultural and animal health fields, to discuss the major health challenges brought about by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is a key challenge in the European Union, and finding a way forward to commonly fight this global threat.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to our economy and our respective industries,” said Michael Dantin, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, FR). “Addressing antibiotic resistance will require a comprehensive, global approach, including multi-sector efforts. Participants attending the meeting agreed that we need to come together to provide a coordinated response that meets this challenge, as antibiotics remain one of the best methods against epidemics. It is essential to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, for both humans and animals. However, stakeholders also discussed the importance of promoting other alternative prevention methods, such as vaccination, into daily farming practice.”


At the workshop, country roundtables gave participants the chance to discuss AMR from a national perspective and exchange best practices. Jean-Baptiste Moreau, Member of the French Parliament (LREM), welcomed the efforts by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organizaton for Animal  Health (OIE),  to set overall direction for combatting AMR. “The future national strategic plans should reflect the global efforts designed to tackle AMR and incorporate  concrete support for alternative prevention methods.”


Additionally, stakeholders addressed the need to promote the responsible use of veterinary medicines in the light of the One Health approach, which is a collaboration of human and animal health agencies, to ensure safe food supply and protect European agriculture. “The challenge of AMR is an opportunity for the Member States to revive their cooperation and address the challenges together,” Mr. Moreau said. “The present stakeholders called for a greater understanding for collective action in the fight against AMR from a practical and political point of view.”


“The European Union efforts have already contributed to a shift toward a more responsible use of antibiotics,” said Jan Huitema, Member of the European Parliament (ALDE, NL). “Through continued EU cooperation and exchange of best practices, new measures for tackling AMR could be introduced. This would ensure that future generations can enjoy the lifesaving potency of antibiotics.”


About Antimicrobial Resistance
Antibiotics have an important role in ensuring the health and wellbeing of animals. MSD Animal Health supports the responsible use of antibiotics to improve and maintain the health and welfare of animals. Clinical research has shown that antibiotics, when used appropriately, are effective tools to manage disease in animal populations, protect human health by reducing the spread of zoonotic disease and are a critical component to ensuring a safe food supply. MSD Animal Health develops, manufactures and markets a portfolio of antibiotics for a number of different species to support healthier animals. The company supports the responsible use of antibiotics in livestock and pets to help maintain animal health, public health and food safety, and it is committed to supporting and working with veterinarians, producers and regulatory agencies to ensure that the proper, responsible and targeted use of antibiotics is managed through the appropriate channels.


About One Health
One Health initiatives recognize that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment and forge partnerships between physicians, veterinarians and other health-related scientists. The World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, jointly advocate for a global One Health framework.


About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD.Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.