Combat antibiotic resistance, says Italian health minister

(AGI) Rome, Oct 8 - Italy's Health Minister, Beatrice Lorenzin,has asked a meeting of the G7 health ministers to focus oncombating resistance to antibiotics. Overuse of theseprescription drugs is leading to serious health problems andcontributing to thousands of deaths throughout the Westernworld. Ms Lorenzi told the Berlin meeting of health ministersfrom Europe, America, Canada, Japan and the Director General ofthe World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, that in Italy thesituation was being fought on both the human and veterinaryfronts. Italy was taking a "one health" approach from theMinistry of Health on

(AGI) Rome, Oct 8 - Italy's Health Minister, Beatrice Lorenzin,has asked a meeting of the G7 health ministers to focus oncombating resistance to antibiotics. Overuse of theseprescription drugs is leading to serious health problems andcontributing to thousands of deaths throughout the Westernworld. Ms Lorenzi told the Berlin meeting of health ministersfrom Europe, America, Canada, Japan and the Director General ofthe World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, that in Italy thesituation was being fought on both the human and veterinaryfronts. Italy was taking a "one health" approach from theMinistry of Health on down, bringing together veterinaryhealth, food safety and human health. A combined approach ledto excellent results for human health, confirmed by laboratorytests. The fight against antibiotic resistance was one of theobjectives being firmly pursued, and during Italy's six-monthpresidency of the EU important conclusions on patient safetyand antibiotic resistance had been reached, said Ms Lorenzin.There was still much to be done; the role of veterinariansneeded to be stepped up in order to check what was being givento animals as well as prescription safety. The issue ofappropriate prescribing, she added, was on the agenda in Italyand in the rest of the world. The G7 ministers had stressed theneed to combat uncontrolled drug use, both in people and inanimals. "We need to work towards incentivising vaccinationsand new therapies, as well as hygiene, pressing on withresearch and developing new, less expensive antibiotics thanthe innovative and biological, and innovative and immunologicalones, but ones that we really need", she concluded. .