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EFPIA's Richard Bergström warns of a return to the "dark ages of medicine" in Europe.
In an open letter to President Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission (EC), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Association (EFPIA) and European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) stated that they regret that Juncker's State of the European Union speech yesterday "did not devote more attention to Europe's role in protecting and improving health across the Union". EFPIA's Richard Bergström and EPHA's Nina Renshaw called on Juncker "to take decisive action with regard to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the biggest threat of the modern era to lives, health and health systems across Europe and worldwide". The letter continued: "We call on you to publish urgently the follow-up to the European AMR Action Plan of 2011, which will expire in November. We hope that this Action Plan will be as ambitious as the challenge is great and will: include aspects concerning national plans – with appropriate targets; pilot new ways to research and commercialize new antibiotics; and offer an overview of legislative measures to be taken at EU-level to tackle antibiotic misuse across all sectors." Noting that the threat of drug-resistant infections in a post-antibiotic era "threatens Europe with a return to the 'dark ages of medicine'", Bergström and Renshaw called on Juncker to "make every effort to ensure Europe takes a global leadership role in averting this and putting Europe and the world on course for a future in the best possible health for all."