Join action plan to combat antibiotic resistance

Bern, 26.6.2024 – The Federal Council has adopted the One Health Action Plan 2024-27, part of the Swiss Antibiotic Resistance Strategy (StAR), setting out concrete measures and areas of focus for the coming years. The move also takes account of the latest scientific findings and political initiatives.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become insensitive or less sensitive to antibiotics. If antibiotics do not work, even simple infections can be fatal. Every year, 1.3 million people die because antibiotics fail to have an effect.

In the course of the implementation of the Swiss Antibiotic Resistance Strategy (StAR), since 2016 numerous measures have already been successfully established and extended. For example, antibiotic consumption has been reduced and the resistance situation in Switzerland has been temporarily stabilised.

However, the problem of antimicrobial resistance continues to worsen all over the world. It thus remains one of the most pressing challenges facing healthcare systems in the 21st century. It is crucially important for Switzerland to drive forward the implementation of the StAR strategy systematically, taking account of the latest findings and recommendations.

Adoption of the StAR One Health Action Plan 2024-27

To this end, the Federal Council today adopted the StAR One Health Action Plan 2024-27. This was developed in collaboration with various stakeholders and interest groups in the fields of research, politics and business. The aim of the action plan is to reinforce implementation of the StAR strategy with binding, innovative and sustainable measures. The goal is to work closely with all the stakeholders involved to close gaps and utilise resources more effectively.

The plan has three main thrusts:

1) Commitment

The tools already developed, such as therapy guidelines and directives, are to be publicised more widely and their use promoted. The goal is routine use.

2) Innovation

New scientific findings and technologies will be increasingly drawn on. For example, the cross-disciplinary One Health monitoring of resistance is to be evolved further by systematically gathering sequence data, helping gain a better understanding of the transmission pathways of resistance. New approaches to incentives are being examined to improve the supply of antibiotics.

3) Sustainability

Antimicrobial resistance remains a permanent challenge. The structures and processes for combating resistance should therefore be cemented for the long term. A legal basis is also to be created for this.

One Health approach

With the planned actions, Switzerland aims to ensure that antibiotics can continue to fulfil their vital role in the future. The four federal offices – the FOPH, the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) – are working closely with the cantons and numerous other stakeholders from the human, animal, agricultural and environmental fields to achieve this:

Further information

You’ll find the action plan and further information at:

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria no longer respond or are less responsive to antibiotics. The emergence of resistant bacteria is a worldwide problem for people and animals alike. Micro-organisms today are becoming increasingly resistant not only to individual antibiotics but also to multiple antibiotic classes (which is known as multi-resistance).

Infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria are difficult or even impossible to treat with antibiotics. The main cause of this growing resistance is the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Increasing globalisation also means that such resistance is steadily spreading around the world. As a result, the treatments available to date are becoming less effective, leading to a rise in the incidence of illness and fatalities.

The Situation in Switzerland

In human medicine, the consumption of antibiotics in the ‘Watch’ category, which is particularly crucial to the development of resistance, declined by 30% between 2015 and 2022. In veterinary medicine, antibiotic prescribing has fallen by around 41% and the consumption of critical antibiotics has decreased by more than 77% in the same period.

Meanwhile, resistance rates have stabilised for the time being. Nevertheless, the much higher rates internationally mean the situation is likely to deteriorate further. This is why it is still necessary to take action to prevent and combat resistance, including in Switzerland.

Last modification 28.06.2024

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