ReAct North America - Action on Antibiotic Resistance (Strategic Policy Program)
The Program on Global Health and Technology Access serves as the Strategic Policy Program of ReAct, a global coalition for action on resistance to antibiotics. The rising burden of drug-resistant infections is a threat facing all medical practices, from cancer treatment to organ transplants, and causes significant mortality and undue costs for healthcare systems around the world. ReAct hopes to turn this tide by promoting both innovation for new antibiotics, diagnostics and vaccines, and appropriate use of existing antibiotics.
Founded in 2004 through joint efforts of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, the Karolinska Institute, and the Swedish Strategic Program Against Antibiotic Resistance (STRAMA), ReAct is based at Uppsala University in Sweden. Its network links diverse individuals and organizations across Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Australia, in addition to our Program, which collectively aim to catalyze action, build synergies, and guide policy processes around antibiotic resistance-related issues.
Over the years as ReAct’s Strategic Policy Unit, the GHTA Program has played a strategic role, from helping to set the agenda for an international conference on antibiotic innovation in September 2010 to seeding the WHO report on The Evolving Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance: Options for Action in 2012. The Program submitted several proposals on antibiotic innovation in October 2013 to the WHO regional consultative process for innovation demonstration projects.
In addition, the Program embarked on a six-month process with six other steering group members that culminated in a conference on %u2018Setting the civil society agenda on Antibiotic Resistance’ hosted by South Centre (an inter-governmental think tank for the South, based in Geneva) in April 2014. The conference led to the launch of an inter-sectoral Antibiotic Resistance Coalition, consisting of twenty one civil society organisations and stakeholders from six continents. These included key consumer organizations, from Public Citizen and Center for Science in the Public Interest in the United States and global networks like Health Action International, the People’s Health Movement, to groups working on non-human use of antibiotics like Healthy Food Action and Keep Antibiotics Working and student groups like the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. At the 67th World Health Assembly in May 2014, the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition released its Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance that affirmed a shared commitment to safeguard the policy process from efforts that might masquerade as solutions to tackling antibiotic resistance.
The GHTA Program continues to support the ARC Coalition and it has put together periodic newsletters, mounted responses to the WHO Global Plan of Action on Antimicrobial Resistance, and enlisted Coalition member support for a social media campaign timed with World Antibiotic Resistance Week from Nov 17 - 23, 2014.