Press breakfast highlighting antibiotic resistance held in Berlin
On the occasion of the European Antibiotics Awareness Day, which is celebrated each year on 18 November, BIO Deutschland held a press breakfast highlighting antibiotic resistance on 14 November in Berlin. On hand for discussions with the press were Oliver Schacht, CEO of diagnostics developer Curetis and board member of BIO Deutschland, and Petra Gastmeier, professor and director of the Charité’s Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine. “Possible role models for modern molecular diagnostics are the Netherlands with its systematic testing of all at-risk patients during the hospital admission process, and the United Kingdom with its rule that no antibiotics can be prescribed without a prior diagnosis,” said Oliver Schacht. Modern and innovative diagnostics, according to him, require not only the political will to make improvements, but also appropriate reimbursement mechanisms and rates. “Clinicians, pathologists, hygienists and infectiologists, not to mention our hospitals’ administrative staff, must work together closely,” pointed out Schacht. “It’s necessary to distinguish clearly between viral and bacterial infection so that we can reduce the use of antibiotics, particularly in outpatient care,” said Gastmeier. “Overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately to treat flus and colds, for example, increases the risk that the bacteria will become resistant.” This educational work, according to Gastmeier, needs to be done not only nationwide but also internationally, because bacteria and antibiotic resistance know no borders. The aim of the European Antibiotics Awareness Day is to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and about the importance of prudent antibiotic use.