Press release, /

Innovation in diagnostics for fighting antimicrobial resistance: Launch of the White Paper on Rapid diagnostic technologies to tackle AMR

Brussels, 31 May 2017 – Today the European Parliament Interest Group on Innovation in Health and Social Care called on the European Commission to boost funding and innovation to foster the uptake of rapid diagnostic technologies in the upcoming Action Plan. To encourage a new approach to the use of diagnostic technologies to tackle antimicrobial resistance, MEPs Harkin, Busoi, Kandenbach and Swinburne have provided full support to the launch of the White Paper on Rapid diagnostic technologies to tackle AMR developed by Health First Europe in collaboration with the Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) and the World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance (WAAR).

Abuse of antibiotics is one of the most significant drivers for multidrug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic consumption widely varies between EU/EEA countries. In the countries with the highest consumption, people consume 3.4 times more antibiotics compared to countries with the lowest consumption. Innovative diagnostic technologies can contribute – as part of a broader and coordinated plan – to reduce antibiotic misuse. Rapid diagnostic technologies are simple tools able to reduce unnecessary prescription, tailor treatment for bacterial infections and limit infection spread.

To create a situation in which antimicrobials are prescribed based on diagnosis, in conjunction with presentation and clinical experience, the White Paper calls upon the European Commission and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to:

  • Promote the use of rapid diagnostic technologies in screening programme guidelines for drug-resistant bacteria.
  • Set up a European monitoring programme capable of tracking implementation and the use of rapid diagnostic tools and outcomes in European healthcare systems.
  • Champion in their awareness-raising campaigns the critical role of the use of rapid diagnostic technologies in tackling antimicrobial resistance.
  • Develop public health messages to enable a change in patient behaviour towards antibiotic misuse.
  •  Encourage the uptake of rapid diagnostics in preventing antimicrobial resistance by creating a rapid diagnostic market stimulus in Europe. Funding targeted research for innovative rapid technologies.
  • Promote alternative reimbursement systems to facilitate the uptake of innovative technologies in national healthcare systems.
  •  Implement “one horizon scanning” tools to facilitate the development of clinical evidence for rapid diagnostics.
  • Take the lead in advocating evidence-based best practice models for rapid diagnostic tools.


To read the White Paper on rapid diagnostic technologies to tackle AMR, click here.