On February 15th 2022, the EU project RaDAR – Rapid Detection and control system for Antimicrobial Resistance, financed in the framework of the COSME Call 2020 for the co-financing of public procurement of innovation consortia, was officially launched by the European Commission.
The project was presented to the EU Officials by María Sanchis, Health Innovation Project Manager at AQuAS – Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya, who highlighted how the pandemic has taught us the relevance of these issues, and how a timely and effective response system will be key for tackling future health emergencies.
RaDAR’s objective is to strengthen health systems by improving their resilience and reinforcing their preparedness and response capacity to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). AMR refers to bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites changing over time and no longer responding to available drugs or treatments. This makes infections harder to control and increases the chances of disease spreading, leading to higher risks of severe illnesses and death.
In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) included AMR in the 10 most urgent threats that will demand attention from WHO and health partners. AMR is estimated to be responsible for over 33,000 deaths per year in the EU alone and 700,000 deaths per year globally. AMR is also the cause of heavy economic burdens, both in terms of higher costs of treatments and reduced productivity caused by sickness. It is estimated that AMR costs the EU €1.5 billion per year in healthcare costs and productivity losses. Furthermore, the current COVID-19 crisis is further exacerbating the AMR challenge. Evidence indicates that 72% of COVID-19 patients have received antibiotics even when not clinically indicated, which can strengthen antimicrobial resistances.
The RaDAR project aims to promote European SMEs access to public tenders and contracts, encouraging the development of new innovative solutions to address AMR challenges.