In Canada, systematic efforts for controlling antibiotic resistance began in 1997 following a national Consensus Conference. The Canadian strategy produced 27 recommendations, one of which was the formation of the Canadian Committee on Antibiotic Resistance (CCAR). In addition several other organizations began working on a national or provincial basis over the ensuing years on one or more of the 3 identified core areas of the strategy. Critical evaluation of the major programs within Canada which focused on antimicrobial resistance and the identified core components has not been previously conducted.
Data was collected from multiple sources to determine the components of four major AMR programs that were considered national based on their scope or in the delivery of their mandates. Assessment of program components was adapted from the report from the International Forum on Antibiotic Resistance colloquium. Most of the programs used similar tools but only the Do Bugs Need Drugs Program (DBND) had components directed towards day cares and schools. Surveillance programs for antimicrobial resistant pathogens have limitations and/or significant sources of bias. Overall, there has been a 25.3% decrease in oral antimicrobial prescriptions in Canada since 1995, mainly due to decreases in β lactams, sulphonamides and tetracyclines in temporal association with multiple programs with the most comprehensive and sustained national programs being CCAR and DBND.
Although there has been a substantial decrease in oral antimicrobial prescriptions in Canada since 1995, there remains a lack of leadership and co-ordination of antimicrobial resistance activities.
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, stewardship, antibiotic, scripts, prescribing, population, program components