Austrian Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser: Our goal is to reduce sustainably the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance!

In May the German Minister Hermann Gröhe presented the new Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy (DART 2020). With this measure, important steps with regard to treatment associated infections and antibiotic resistance were initiated. What strategies and measures are planned or already initiated in Austria? We asked the Austrian Minister of Health, Dr. Sabine Oberhauser.

If antibiotics don´t have an effect any more, the treatment options are running the risk to fall back in a pre-penicillin-age, the German Health Minister said in early summer – shortly thereafter he presented DART 2020.
In Austria a National Strategy in regard of Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR) was already presented in November 2014: “This strategy reflects the Europe- and worldwide guidelines for a more conscious approach to antibiotics. It includes human medicine affairs as well as veterinary activities and animal keeping”, sais the Minster of Health, Dr. Sabine Oberhauser.

Guidelines for the responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine in terms of „prudent use“ were prepared and published in summer 2013. The aim is to improve the information for veterinarians, to reduce antibiotic use by improving prevention and hygiene measures. Especially by the WHO as „Highest Priority Critically Important Antimicrobials“ classified macrolides (fluoroquinolones, cephalosporins of the 3rd and 4th generation and glycopeptides) should be used only in exceptional cases and under strict indications.

Another important measure is the registration of antibiotic volume flows in the veterinary field. For this purpose on 15/4/2014 the veterinary antibiotic volume decree (BGBI. II No. 83/2014) came into force, which places the veterinary pharmacies in the forefront. Purchases as well as the quantities of the delivered veterinary antibiotics are recorded, and there exists the possibility to register (voluntarily) the antibiotic use on the single animal in a data base created by the AGES (Austrian food authority).
At the same time the obligations to keep records (of incoming and outgoing veterinary antibiotics) have been clarified in order to create the official controls from veterinary pharmacies more efficiently.
“Our goal is to reduce sustainably the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics and to promote the quality of antimicrobial therapy, sais Oberhauser.