Last week there have been lots of news regarding European consumers' safety & health. And so:
- The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) published an annual report for 2012 which showed that heroin use (responsible for the largest share of drug-related diseases and deaths) is in decline in Europe and that, in general, patterns of drug use are shifting (to other opioids, like fentanyl, buprenorphine etc. but also cathinones, amphetamines etc.). There is also a decline in reported cases of drug injections. To read more about drug use and related diseases in Europe see here.
- The same report as mentioned above expresses its concerns about the increased European market for powders and pills. European are the most prone to the use of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines, but the synthetic drugs' and stimulants' market is emerging further (e.g. cathinones, methamphetamine). More on this here.
- Health spending in Europe fell in 2010 for the first time in decades as the report 'Health at a glance' of the OECD and the European Commission announces. A summary of the main findings of the report may be found here.
- European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approval of the first vaccine for bacterial meningitis B, Bexsero which hopefully will decrease the rate of fatal cases of this disease (currently ca 8% of European patients) affecting mostly infants and young children. More information - see here.
- Yesterday, there was the European Antibiotic Awareness Day. You can read key facts on the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) here.
- World Health Organization (WHO) during its Conference of the Parties signed on 12th November a new protocol - on the Elimination of the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. New, effective measures against illicit trading would benefit consumers, since they should safeguard existing norms on controlling the quality of tobacco and its labelling.See more here.