Seizing the opportunity for European leadership on antibiotic development and access

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Seizing the opportunity for European leadership on antibiotic development and access

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Antibiotic resistance was responsible for at least 1.27mn deaths worldwide in 2019. By 2050, global death rates could soar to 10mn per year. In the European Union, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) causes around 33,000 deaths and costs €1.5bn yearly, according to estimates by the European Commission. It represents a global and growing health threat.   

Antibiotics underpin modern medicine, but we are quickly running out of treatments. This is due to increasing resistance against existing antibiotics and a lack of new drugs entering the market in the short and long term. Without urgent action, including substantial and sustained public investment in antibiotic R&D, we may face a future where routine surgery, oncology treatments and other ‘common’ medical interventions are too dangerous to administer. What is preventing the development of new antibiotics and how can we assure access and appropriate use? How can Europe lead the response to the global health security threat of antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance?

The development of new, readily available and affordable antibiotics is highly valuable for public health systems. Yet, antibiotics do not fit well into the traditional drug development pathways, as profitability is limited by usage restrictions – stewardship – for new antibiotics. The combination of widespread availability at low cost and usage restrictions limits the market potential of new antibiotics, creating a disconnect between long-term public health interests and for-profit, short-term objectives. Since the development of novel antibiotics is not a commercially viable investment for pharmaceutical companies, significant public or not-for-profit structures and funding mechanisms are required to complement private sector efforts.

Political momentum to tackle AMR has come recently from the current trio presidency of the European Council through a declaration issued in March 2022. Later this year, the European Commission will publish an initiative to set concrete objectives and activities to address AMR, while the One Health concept maintains strong political support. In 2016, the WHO, with the political and financial backing of several governments, including EU member states, established the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) to develop new antibiotics that address urgent priorities and to ensure sustainable access for all people in need worldwide. This invitation-only policymakers’ dinner debate for 30 senior stakeholders will be an opportunity for participants to provide recommendations on the issue under discussion.

This event will take place in Brussels. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook, and join the #FoEDebate!


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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Schedule

Schedule

Registration and welcome cocktail
Seizing the opportunity for European leadership on antibiotic development and access
Expand Seizing the opportunity for European leadership on antibiotic development and access

AMR has been identified as one of the three main cross-border health threats for Europe. Alongside growing morbidity and mortality, the economic consequences of AMR could be damaging for both Europe and the global economy if governments fail to act. Recent lessons on how to react, invest and adapt systems need to be put into practice to address drug-resistant infections and bolster the preparedness of European and global health systems.

Questions include:

  • Traditional, for-profit models to foster drug development are not well suited to meet the significant public health need for new antibiotics. Given the urgency of the situation, what are the routes forward for the European Commission and EU member states to enable the development of novel antibiotics?
  • How can governments, the private and non-profit sectors ensure the development and accessibility of novel antibiotics?
  • The pandemic demonstrated Europe’s vulnerability to health threats emerging outside its borders. What are the challenges and rewards of assuming a leadership role in addressing the global health threat of AMR?

Kick-starters

Peter Beyer

Deputy Executive Director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)

Pierre Delsaux

European Commission Director-General of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)

Malin Grape

Ambassador on Antimicrobial Resistance at the Division for EU and International Affairs at the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

Moderator

Tamsin Rose

Senior Fellow, Friends of Europe

End of dinner debate
Speakers

Speakers

Peter Beyer
Peter Beyer

Deputy Executive Director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)

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Peter Beyer is a public health expert, who has played an instrumental in setting up GARDP and the AMR Action Fund. Previously, he led the World Health Organization unit responsible for global initiatives that foster the development and access to new antimicrobial treatments. He also chairs the Expert Advisory Group of the Medicines Patent Pool, which assesses the terms and conditions of all proposed licence agreements. Beyer is also a trained lawyer and has extensive experience in international negotiations.

Pierre Delsaux
Pierre Delsaux

European Commission Director-General of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)

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Pierre Delsaux has gained significant experience in operational management, policy implementation and formulation throughout a long and remarkable career at the European Commission. A lawyer by training, he has held numerous senior positions within the Commission, mainly within the Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the former Directorate-General Internal Market and Services (DG MARKT). Prior to working at the Commission, Delsaux was a legal secretary at the European Court of Justice.

Malin Grape
Malin Grape

Ambassador on Antimicrobial Resistance at the Division for EU and International Affairs at the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

Show more information on Malin Grape
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