The WHO European Centre for Primary Health Care, WHO/Europe’s Health Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Programme and WHO Headquarters’ patient safety and risk management unit organised a cross-programmatic consultation for all members of the Antimicrobial Medicines Consumption (AMC) network. This is a network of non-European Union countries in the WHO European Region focussing on curbing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The meeting took place at the Kazakh National Medical University in Almaty (30 Oct – 1 Nov 2018). It aimed to bring together specialists in the field of AMR policy and relevant stakeholders from the AMC network to discuss the role of primary health care (PHC) in responsible use of antimicrobials and curbing AMR. All participants worked together on how to improve PHC to stimulate responsible use of antibiotics and drafted country roadmaps for reducing over-the-counter (OTC) sales of antibiotics.
On behalf of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation, Aukje Mantel and Tom Jacobs attended the consultation. They presented a literature review about law enforcement activities prohibiting the OTC sales of antibiotics and engaged in panel discussions to reflect on initiatives on a country level and discuss future steps to be taken. It was a fruitful meeting during where many promising plans were presented and obstacles in implementing these plans were openly discussed. Participants raised and discussed the following important topics: