Innovation in Diagnostics for Tackling AMR – Report from UEMO

23/06/2017 News Europe , News UEMO , Policy 2079 Views

On 31 May 2017, Health First Europe organized a conference on “Innovation in diagnostics for tackling Antimicrobial Resistance”.

Policymakers and health representatives met within the framework of the European Parliamentary Interest Group on Innovation on health and social care to stimulate the exchange of ideas on innovative diagnostic solutions for managing and fighting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Europe. In this frame, the meeting entitled Innovation in diagnostics for ­fighting antimicrobial resistance provided the framework to launch the White Paper on rapid diagnostic technologies to tackle AMR, perceived to be valuable tools to curb the antibiotic misuse by reducing unnecessary prescription, tailoring treatment for bacterial infections, and limiting the spread of infections.

Overview of the current AMR situation:

  • AMR is now a huge global problem
  • Misuse of antibiotics is eroding their efficacy and highly resistant bacteria, especially those resistant to lastline antibiotics, are rapidly emerging and spreading around the globe.
  • Fewer antibiotics are being created and validated. If the current trend is not altered, 300 million people worldwide are expected to prematurely die.
  • Need for coherent, comprehensive and integrated approach at all levels of government, involving all actors and sectors. AMR is a global public health emergency.

Steps taken at the EU level:

  • The EU Action Plan on AMR 2011-2016 paved the way to develop a One Health approach, which combines both human and animal health.
  • The next action plan will be based on the key findings of the 2011-2016 Plan with a focus on:
    • Making the EU a best practice region
    • Stimulating Research & Innovation
    • Shaping global action outside the EU

How to tackle current rise of AMR? – Rapid Diagnostic Technologies:

  • Rapid Diagnostic technologies, as part of a multi-level and coherent AMR action plan, have the potential to limit antibiotic abuse.
  • Implementing the use of rapid diagnostic technologies, inside and outside a hospital setting, will give a scientific tool to healthcare professionals in order to understand if a patient is affected by a bacterial or viral infection, analyze the kind of bacteria which causes infection, to screen if these bacteria are resistant or susceptible to treatment with antibiotics, and finally, to identify the best antibiotic to treat the infection.

In order to tackle the rise in AMR, The Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care urges the EC & ECDC to:

  • Promote the use of rapid diagnostic technologies in screening programme guidelines for drug-resistant bacteria.
  • Set up a European monitoring programme capable of tracking implementation and the use of rapid diagnostic tools and outcomes in European healthcare systems.
  • Champion in their awareness-raising campaigns the critical role of the use of rapid diagnostic technologies in tackling antimicrobial resistance
  • Develop Public Health messages to promote a change in patient behavior towards antibiotic misuse.
  • Encourage the uptake of rapid diagnostics in preventing antrimicrobial resistance by creating a rapid diagnostic market stimulus in Europe, Funding targeted research for innovate rapid technologies
  • Promote alternative reimbursement systems to facilitate the uptake of innovative technologies in national healthcare systems.
  • Implement one horizon scanning tools to facilitate the development of clinical evidence for rapid diagnostics.
  • Take the lead in advocating evidence-based best practice models for rapid diagnostic tools.


  • Citizens, policymakers, industry and health carers need to create synergies to conduct greater analysis, develop ambitious studies, and enhance trust and cooperation at all levels.
  • It is decisive to develop an integrated, comprehensive approach and strengthen coordination with EU agencies, food safety authorities and national competent authorities to spread the problem and share best practices, bringing together human and animal health for new solutions.


Health First Europe is a non-profit, non-commercial alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics and healthcare experts and the medical technology industry aimed at ensuring that equitable access to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology and healthcare is regarded as a vital investment in the future of Europe. They call for truly patient-centered healthcare and believe that every European citizen should benefit from the best medical treatments available.

The Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care is aimed at improving patient access to innovation in health and social care by influencing EU policy.   The group is Co-Chaired by Members of the European Parliament. List of EP members and key policy objectives.

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