• Posted 27-Jul-2016

Reducing the use of colistin in animals to decrease the risk of antimicrobial resistance

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended that colistin-containing medicines should only be used as a second line treatment in animals and that their sales should be minimised across all EU Member States to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance. The advice updates EMA guidance from 2013 and takes into account comments made by stakeholders during a public consultation that ended on 26 June 2016.

In light of new evidence (the mcr-1 gene was first identified in bacteria in South China, and since then has also been found in the EU and other regions), the Antimicrobial Advice Ad Hoc Expert Group (AMEG) had been asked to re-evaluate the impact of the use of colistin on human and animal health, the consequences of resistance and what alternative treatments are available.

Over the course of the next four years, all Member States should reduce the use of colistin in animals at least to a target level of 5 mg colistin/population correction unit (PCU). If successfully applied, this could result in an overall reduction of approximately 65% in the current sales of colistin for veterinary use at an EU level. This decrease should build on the decrease of colistin sales for veterinary use already seen between 2011 and 2013. Member States are also encouraged to set stricter national targets, ideally below 1 mg colistin/PCU as a desirable level.

More information: http://tinyurl.com/juc784r