Skip to content

Manifesto on the contribution of CAM to reduce antibiotic use EUROCAM urges EU political leaders to take action

EUROCAM calls on the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, in the 2019-2024 legislature, to include CAM in their policies to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

AntiMicrobial Resistance

Resistance to antimicrobials is a complex international public health problem that has already reached alarming levels in many parts of the world. It is estimated to be responsible for 33,000 deaths per year and costs €1.5 billion annually in healthcare costs and productivity losses.[1] Prudent and appropriate use of antimicrobials is therefore of the essence. One of the strategies to achieve this aim is the use of effective and safe non-antibiotic treatments of infections. There is some evidence that CAM prevention and treatment strategies can lead to the prescription and consumption of fewer antibiotics and some of the CAM treatment strategies have been shown to be effective in systematic reviews.[2] Surgeries employing general practitioners additionally trained in CAM have lower antibiotic prescribing rates.[3] By building and maintaining resistance to infectious illness, CAM modalities mobilise and stimulate the self-regulating capacity of the organism, thus increasing its resilience. Greater resilience leads to a swift and sustained recovery from infections and reduced susceptibility to future infections and less reliance on antibiotics. CAM can, therefore, support the EU strategy to conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing antimicrobial treatments and offer an avenue for the development of novel future therapies.

EUROCAM calls on the EU political leaders to:

  • Initiate and support the inclusion of CAM therapies as effective and safe non-antibiotic treatments for infections;
  • Initiate and support further research investment into non-antibiotic treatment options for infections as put forward by CAM;
  • Support Member States in the integration of CAM treatment of infections in primary healthcare.

References contribution of CAM to reduce antibiotic use

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/health/amr/antimicrobial-resistance_en

[2] Baars EW et al.The Contribution of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to Reduce Antibiotic Use: A Narrative Review of Health Concepts, Prevention, and Treatment Strategies. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2019:5365608.

[3] van der Werf ET et al. Do NHS GP surgeries employing GPs additionally trained in integrative or complementary medicine have lower antibiotic prescribing rates? Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of national primary care prescribing data in England in 2016. BMJ Open. 2018 Mar 5;8(3):e020488.