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Antarctica is born: the EU agreement against antibiotic misuse

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It all happened during“European Antibiotic Day,” organized by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Europe’s two most impotant scientific societies Escmid and Esicm have agreed to enter into an agreement called Antarctica (Antimicrobial resistance critical care), designed to combat antimicrobial resistance in intensive care units. In a nutshell, this is a stipulation that aims to significantly reduce the abuse of antibiotics and promote their much more rational and controlled use.

Data in hand

In fact, according to the latest estimates, up to 50 percent of antibiotics are administered too easily and excessively or inappropriately in hospitals in the European Union. In fact, according to surveys, the use of antibiotics to treat multidrug-resistant infections in Europe even doubled between 2010 and 2014. Italy specifically, is one of the states where there is very high consumption (27.8 doses per thousand inhabitants per day).

Such abuse will lead to very serious consequences if not stopped in time. In fact, if we continue at this rate, it is estimated that by 2050“superbugs” (i.e., those viruses that have developed strong resistance to even the strongest antibiotics) will become the world’s most prevalent cause of death, even more so than cancer. Suffice it to say that at present, in Europe, there are four million infections with antibiotic-resistant germs each year with 25 thousand deaths (world estimates instead record a rate of 700 thousand deaths from this cause).

Italian health care poverty

As if that were not enough, there is a further increase in health poverty in Italy. In fact, more and more people, due to the growing economic crisis and rising unemployment (especially youth unemployment), no longer have the ability to purchase medications for their health and are increasingly turning to health care centers. This is stated in the report “Donate to Cure.”, compiled by the Banco Farmaceutico Foundation and Bfr Research, according to which in 2017 the demand for medicines by the aforementioned institutions (about 1722) grew by 9.7 percent, with the number of people assisted exceeding 580,000 (with a growth rate of 4 percent), registering higher numbers especially among young people under 18 years of age.

In the words of Mario Melazzini, general manager AIFA: “Of even greater concern is the gap that has been created between the average level of spending, which stands at about 695 euros a year, and that of the indigent, who have about 106 euros, 17 less than in 2016.” And again, “We must never forget that behind the numbers and statistics are people, and there are inequalities in access to medicines, problems with treatment adherence, poor information, and a general worsening of health conditions.”

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