United States Pharmacopeial Convention

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Antimicrobial resistance
Statement: 

Thank you for providing us with an opportunity to share our comments at the 72nd World Health Assembly.

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements worldwide, is committed to addressing antimicrobial stewardship (AMR).

Substandard and falsified (SF) medicines primarily drive pathogen resistance through creation of sub-therapeutic dosing conditions. The presence of SF medicines—estimated at 12% of antibiotics and 20% of antimicrobials in low-resource settings—undermines antimicrobial stewardship efforts and endangers patient safety. Co-endemics of infectious diseases and SF medicines threaten global health security.

There has been encouraging action on AMR: ongoing development of National Action Plans; 2nd round of recommendations from the UN InterAgency Coordination Group on AMR in April 2019, and international funding for new antibiotic research and development. However, much remains to be done.

USP therefore congratulates WHO for the adoption of Resolution EB144.R11 on antimicrobial resistance. We support the Resolution’s call for Member States to:

• Conduct post-market surveillance of antimicrobials and take appropriate action to eliminate substandard and falsified antimicrobials
• Enhance cooperation at all levels for concrete action towards combatting antimicrobial resistance that includes: health system strengthening; capacity building in research and regulatory systems; and technical support, including, where appropriate, twinning programmes that build on best practices, emerging evidence, and innovation.

Ensuring the quality of antimicrobials is a critical component of achieving the stewardship goals set forth in this Resolution. Concerted and coordinated global response will demand ongoing leadership from the WHO. Thank you.