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UK Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance

In September 2013 the Department of Health (DH) published the cross-governmental UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2013-2018. The VMD provided input from a veterinary perspective into this strategy and is now working with DH and Public Health England (PHE) to develop an implementation plan and outcome measures.

The strategy sets out three strategic aims:

  1. Improve the knowledge and understanding of AMR
  2. Conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments
  3. Stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics and novel therapies

It also outlines seven key areas for future action:

  1. Improving infection prevention and control
  2. Optimising prescribing
  3. Improving professional education, training and public engagement
  4. Developing new drugs, treatments and diagnostics
  5. Better access to and use of surveillance data
  6. Better identification and prioritisation of AMR research needs
  7. Strengthened international collaboration

The VMD, along with DH and PHE will lead on co-ordinating, and facilitating activities within these key areas, in order to minimise the development of antibiotic resistance and protect human and animal health and welfare. However, to be successful in addressing the challenge of antibiotic resistance there needs to be concerted effort across all sectors - medical, veterinary. The action plan detailing how the strategy is to be implemented will be published by March 2014.

The Strategy has already received strong support across the animal health and livestock sector-Defra, British Veterinary Association, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, National Farmers Union, National Office of Animal Health and the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance released a joint statement on the day it was launched.

The Strategy brings together a number of workstreams to form a cohesive 'One Health' approach to cross government action on AMR. The VMD is already active in a number of these areas, working with the farming industry to promote the responsible use of antimicrobials in farmed animals, and with the veterinary profession to continue to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance so that veterinarians have the right information to make responsible decisions when prescribing antimicrobials.

Last Updated: 08 November 2013

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