DRAP and WHO collaborated to hold a “Two-Day Consultative Meeting on WHO AWaRe Classification of Antimicrobials in the National Essential Medicine List (NEML) of Pakistan”

Access, Watch, and Reserve (AWaRe) classification was introduced by the World Health Organization in 2017 for strengthening antibiotic stewardship and controlling antimicrobial resistance at the national level. This also includes in WHO GPW 13 indicators of antibiotic use. AWaRe is a relatively “easy” tool that offers more than overall antibiotic use or more conventional classifications.

WHO country office, in Pakistan, has been facilitating the development of Pakistan’s first “Evidence-based AWaRE classification of essential antibiotics” online active engagement of stakeholders. In the past two years, national experts in the field and consultants were engaged on multiple occasions through online and face-to-face meetings to develop the needful tools, formulate a comprehensive desk review, and collect the indigenous AMR data with support of NIH. The first consultative meeting of the process was held on 29th April 2021 and was attended by more than twenty participants from federal, and provincial levels with representation from both public and private sector.

Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan in collaboration with Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination convened the final consultative meeting for development of the AWaRe classification of antibiotics for Pakistan. The meeting participants included the representatives from the M/o NHSR&C, DRAP, World Health Organization, National Institute of Health, Healthcare Commissions and National AMR surveillance program leads at federal and provincial levels, and the AMR sentinel sites. Leading national experts from the field of microbiology, infectious diseases, and other specialties including pharmacists, nurses, academicians, and public health professionals and epidemiologists were invited to ensure maximum contribution from the stakeholders.

The developed list will act as a guiding principle for designing institutional antibiotic policies and act as a stepping stone to achieve control of the growing antimicrobial resistance in the country.