Canada cracks down on antimicrobial resistance

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Canada is taking new steps to confront the reality of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the most serious global health threats facing the world today.

This week, Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay introduced Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use: A Pan-Canadian Framework for Action. The Pan-Canadian Framework was developed jointly with provinces and territories and other key partners in the human and animal health sectors to tackle AMR in Canada.

AMR on the Rise

Existing antibiotics are becoming less effective at treating infections and the development of new drugs is not keeping pace. The leading cause of increased AMR is the overuse or inappropriate use of antibiotics for preventing or treating infections in people and animals.

Unless action is taken, even common infections could become life-threatening and estimates indicate that by 2050, annual worldwide human deaths attributable to AMR could reach 10 million.

The Framework

The Framework identifies opportunities for action and desired outcomes under four pillars: surveillance, stewardship, infection prevention and control, and research and innovation. A Pan-Canadian Action Plan will be developed to define specific commitments, measurable outcomes, and timeframes to put the Framework into use.

“Our government is committed to taking action to mitigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance on Canadians,” said Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. “We are enhancing surveillance; promoting good infection prevention and control practices; promoting the responsible use of antimicrobials; and supporting research and innovation for new prevention and treatment products.”

The Pan-Canadian Framework builds on existing efforts on AMR. It also complements the Federal Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada, released in March 2015, which laid out concrete actions Canada is taking.

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