Professor Mike Sharland, the Chief Investigator of our AMR Team, recently gave a fascinating talk on the “The WHO AWaRe system and global policy” at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The WHO Access, Watch, Reserve (AWaRe) system groups antibiotics used in humans into three simple traffic light categories: Access (green), Watch (orange) or Reserve (red). There are around 40 antibiotics on the WHO Essential Medicines List (EML), and another 200 antibiotics used globally, that have been given an AWaRe group.
The WHO EML has recently published the AWaRe Book, providing guidance on the management of 35 common infections in children and adults in primary care and hospital settings. Detailed guidance is given on the choice of drug, dose and duration, including a risk-based approach to no antibiotic care for minor infections in the community. The AWaRe Book recommends either symptomatic care or an Access antibiotic for 90% of common primary care infections. An implementation focussed design includes simple infographics and an app.
The AWaRe system is designed to promote sustainable prescribing policies of optimal antibiotic use, within the framework of UHC. The seminar provided the background and science of the AWaRe system and its potential role in future local and global AMR policy development.
Prof Mike Sharland is the Chair of the WHO EML Antibiotic Working Group that developed the AWaRe system and produced the AWaRe Book.