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ReAct North America

ReAct North America leads ReAct's work on policy strategies.

ReAct North America leads ReAct’s Strategic Policy Program and is hosted by the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Their work aims to:

  • Advance ReAct’s work on both innovation of new technologies and innovation of practice by offering strategic consultation, developing white papers, and contributing to key policy convenings.
  • Build on ReAct’s network of stakeholders by developing tools, piloting projects or supporting an enabling environment for bringing forward and testing such innovations.
  • Support ReAct’s continued efforts to create a broad civil society coalition by extending effective approaches to reach new constituencies–some outside of the traditional healthcare delivery system–to tackle antibiotic resistance.
People from the antibiotic resistance coalition standing in front of a big white building
The Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC).

ReAct North America serves as an informal secretariat for ARC, where they engage in coordinating conference calls of ARC members, drafting periodic newsletters, mounting responses to the WHO Global Plan of Action on Antimicrobial Resistance, launching a website for the Coalition, and enlisting Coalition member support for social media campaigns timed with World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

Two key strategies discussed: bring novel antibiotics to market and conserving existing antibiotics

The public health challenge of antibiotic resistance has received growing recognition among policymakers in recent years, and put simply, two key strategies are often discussed—bring novel antibiotics to market and conserving existing antibiotics. ReAct North America has worked on both such strategies across both human and animal health. As antibiotic resistance has continued to emerge onto the global stage, ReAct became increasingly concerned that although more declarations signaled growing recognition of the challenge of this issue, most skirted taking on the political challenges of solving the tough issues—standing up to drug industry calls for premium pricing, extended market exclusivity and efforts to lower drug regulatory and safety standards, insisting on fair returns for public investment, ensuring conservation of existing antibiotics, halting non-therapeutic use of antibiotics for growth promotion and prophylaxis, and so on.

Therefore, ReAct North America put forward a framework, depicted in the below graphic, where it was argued that:

  • Antibiotics treat diseases that afflict patients in both North and South. Access to these drugs is not just for neglected diseases endemic in only low-and middle-income countries [Access].
  • How we bring novel antibiotics forward will influence how these drugs will be accessed [Innovation].
  • How these drugs are used also will influence the innovation we need [Promoting rational use of antibiotics].
  • Also used for growth promotion and as a substitute for tackling non-hygienic conditions, antibiotics have a dual market—in animal husbandry and aquaculture—and this can pose risks of cross-species resistance [Ecological responsibility—Non-Human Use of Antibiotics].
  • Just as antibiotics affect the microbiome—the bacteria within us and around us—we might better apply that understanding to take an ecosystem approach to tackling antibiotic resistance [Reimagining Resistance: Sustainability and Systems Thinking].

Schematic picture of innovation, access, rational use of antibiotics, ecological responsibility and sustainability and systems thinking
This turned out to be an architecture that held remarkably well throughout the process of building buy-in and consensus towards the launch of the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition as well as in shaping a Declaration of principles ReAct shared in common with civil society groups across human and animal health.

Helped organize the WHO-NGO Dialogue on AMR

ReAct North America has also worked to help organize the WHO-NGO Dialogue on Antimicrobial Resistance in April 2015 and 2016. The teleconsultation offered an opportunity for leading civil society groups to discuss the WHO Global Action Plan (GAP) on AMR with WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda in lead-up to discussions at the World Health Assembly as well as the UN General Assembly. The WHO-NGO Dialogue focused on technical and financial support for implementing the Global Action Plan, negotiations around the Political Declaration on AMR, the challenges of innovation, access and rational use of antibiotics, intersectoral concerns over the use of antibiotics in agriculture and how trade treaties influence the use of antibiotics in food products, and the need for accountability, monitoring and evaluation.

Contact ReAct North America

Please, do not hesitate to contact ReAct Africa if you have further questions, need help or would like to cooperate.

Click here for all contact information.

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