Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Archived - Statement from the Honourable Rona Ambrose Minister of Health - Auditor General's Findings on Antimicrobial Resistance

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April 28, 2015 - Ottawa - Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Spring Report of the Auditor General of Canada was tabled in Parliament.

We accept the recommendations of this report recognizing that more work needs to be done to build on the considerable progress made to date in addressing antimicrobial resistance.

The Government of Canada has been actively working with all levels of government and appropriate stakeholders to address antimicrobial resistance and will continue to work cooperatively with all partners towards a Pan-Canadian strategy.

Significant steps have already been taken to address antimicrobial resistance including the release of the Federal Framework, which outlines a coordinated federal approach with key focus areas and plans for action, and the Federal Action Plan, which identifies priorities and concrete steps that will be undertaken by the federal government. The Government of Canada has also launched the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS), which provides an integrated, national picture of antimicrobial use and resistance across Canada.

Last month, I met with leaders representing human and animal health organizations to discuss the Government of Canada’s plan for combatting antimicrobial resistance and how we could work together. This was the first time that leaders from all different sectors in human and animal health met to discuss plans for action.

Our Government continues to invest in research to combat antimicrobial resistance and most recently announced $4 million to support researchers at the University of British Columbia, McMaster University and Université Laval. These Canadian researchers will work with international partners on six projects that focus on identifying new targets for antimicrobial drug development, new approaches to treating drug-resistant bacterial infections, and methods to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. Economic Action Plan 2015 proposes to provide $2 million per year, starting in 2016–17, to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support additional research to better understand and address the health challenges posed by anti-microbial resistant infections.

Health Canada intends to strengthen the regulation of antimicrobial drugs used in food animals, and to promote the prudent use of antimicrobial drugs in food animal production.  We are proposing changes to the Food and Drug Regulations to address personal use importation of veterinary drugs, and strengthen the control over the importation of veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).  This will complement work that is already underway by Health Canada and stakeholders to remove growth promotion claims of medically important antimicrobials, and to strengthen veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals and oversight on importation.

Recognizing that action on antimicrobial resistance is a shared responsibility, we will continue to work with all partners to tackle antimicrobial resistance and ensure that antimicrobials continue to be safe and effective in treating Canadians.

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