How effective are antimicrobial agents for human therapy?
The technical specifications of a call for tenders for scientific evaluation of the use, and the current information on this use, of antimicrobial agents in human therapy in the Member States are now available form the Official Journal of the European Communities. The call is related to plans to set up a network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the Community. The evaluations will also take account monitoring activities funded under the programme for AIDS and certain other communicable diseases, paying particular attention to the monitoring networks already coordinated at European level. A database foreseen in this call for tender will be integrated in the health surveillance system for communicable diseases within the European public health information system network (the technical backbone of the network on the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases). This invitation to tender aims to provide information per country on the quantities of antimicrobial agents used in human medicine, on systems for monitoring their consumption, prescription patterns and evaluation systems regarding the appropriateness of their use in all the Member States of the European Community. Countries which are part of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), Cyprus, Malta, Turkey and the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) will be included on the survey as far as appropriate information can be obtained without disproportionate efforts. The evaluation will cover the collection of data on the use of antimicrobial agents in humans at hospital and community level as well as the provision of tools for comparing the data collated in the different countries and proposals for a standardised system to monitor prescription of antimicrobial agents with a view to the development of intervention strategies. A compilation of comparable data on the consumption of the most common antimicrobial agents per country, using an international classification system is also required, to monitor trends and detect possible links between consumption of antimicrobials and the increase/decrease of resistant organisms. Also needed is an identification of the existence, or nature, of surveillance systems per country, on the use of antimicrobial agents and the impact of their use with regards to the development of resistant organisms, including specific characteristics of these systems and cooperation arrangements. This work is to be carried out over a period of 18 months. For further information, please contact: European Commission Dr. H. Buchow Public Health Directorate Unit Communicable, rare and emerging diseases EUFO 3264 Euroforum Building L-2920 Luxembourg Fax +352-4301-33248