News & Views

News and Opinions

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The new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe – an opportunity to put public interest first

ReAct welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to develop a new strategy for the pharmaceutical sector in Europe. The proposed strategy should be seen against the background of several years of heated discussions in Brussels on how to address the increasing problem of high-priced medicines and patients’ lack of access to such medicines in a number of EU Member States.


Launch of global student design sprint – Innovate4Health

ReAct North America (Strategic Policy Program) and the International Federation of Medical Students (IFMSA) are calling on students to take up the challenge and become the future innovators to address health inequities that are exacerbated by emerging infectious diseases, like drug-resistant infections and COVID-19.


World Sepsis Day – antibiotics essential in treatment of sepsis

World Sepsis Day is coming up on September 13th. The day was initiated by the Global Sepsis Alliance in 2012 and aims to raise global awareness about sepsis, which every year causes many millions of deaths around the world. Bacterial infection is commonly the root cause of the condition, and prompt treatment with effective antibiotics is then essential for survival.


Key points from ReAct’s comments to the Independent Panel on Evidence

Earlier this week, ReAct provided feedback on the establishment of an Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against Antimicrobial Resistance. Also, the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition came together around a joint response on the proposed Terms of Reference that the Tripartite Joint Secretariat on AMR had issued a public discussion on.


4 key reflections on the recently launched WHO GLASS-report

The WHO GLASS-report summarizing antimicrobial resistance data from 2018 was launched end of May this year. The report is built on data reported from 78 of the 82 countries that were enrolled in GLASS at the end of the data call – 31st of July 2019 – and includes information extracted from over two million infected patients. In this article, ReAct highlights important findings in the report, describes the progress of GLASS and points out pitfalls to be aware of when interpreting the data.

ReAct Interview

From zoologist to community engagement on AMR

Being a zoologist, Jessica Mitchell worked in different countries traveling to remote sites and engaged with the local communities. She enjoyed being able to bring her biological knowledge to an applied problem and support communities to develop their own solutions.

This is when she realized she wanted to develop her human behavior skillset and at the same time use her biology background to address applied problems – such as antimicrobial resistance.


What everyone needs to know about clinical research

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased interest among news outlets and the public in the advancement of clinical trials. Results from studies are sometimes presented as headline news, but unfortunately often with little reflection or critical analysis. Here we try to explain some of the basic concepts and terms, and reflect on how study design affects what conclusions can be drawn from the studies.


ReAct Africa expands

ReAct Africa has continued to expand in the region since its inception, engaging with AMR champions, governments, academia, CSOs including Faith-based Organizations in more than 33 countries.


New ReAct Policy Brief: Successful cancer treatment relies on effective antibiotics

Antibiotics are instrumental for patients undergoing chemotherapy and surgery, and have paved the way for modern cancer care. Cancer patients often need antibiotics multiple times during the course of cancer treatment, which is why antibiotic resistance is seriously threatening patient outcomes. In ReAct’s new policy brief, you will learn more about the links connecting effective antibiotics and cancer care, and why urgent action on antibiotic resistance therefore is needed.


COVID-19 resolution – a missed opportunity to address global pandemic response more broadly

Last week’s World health Assembly was an opportunity to set out more ambitious goals to build stronger systems to prevent future pandemics and fundamentally reshape the way drug development is financed for pandemics, neglected diseases and antibiotics that isn’t restricted by the current market-based model. Despite high-level participation by several Heads of State showing that global health is finally becoming a political top priority, the final resolution did not go far enough on these crucial points.


Impact of COVID-19 on vaccine-preventable diseases and antibiotic resistance

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is that vaccination efforts that help control other diseases may be put on hold. This may lead to increased strain on health systems, morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable disease and increases in antibiotic resistance.


ReAct Africa and Africa CDC: COVID-19 webinars

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – a pandemic that has claimed hundred of thousands of lives across the globe and spread to numerous African countries has caused an unprecedented global health threat. During this pandemic, ReAct Africa has partnered with Africa CDC in organizing and facilitating webinars to raise awareness on COVID-19.


Antibiotic pollution: India scores a global first with effluent limits

Start 2020 the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change announced stringent standards on concentrations of antibiotics found in the waste discharged by pharmaceutical factories into rivers and the surrounding environment. By doing so it became the first state regulator anywhere in the world to introduce such standards, meant to reduce chances of creating drug-resistant bacteria.


COVID-19 and AMR – what do we know so far?

SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus. The virus causes the COVID-19 pandemic which currently requires the full focus, commitment and support from all governments, international institutions and organizations, the healthcare workforce, the private sector, civil society and the general public.

Some attention has started to be given to the role of secondary infections as well as antibiotic resistance in patients with COVID-19.


Learning from bedaquiline in South Africa – comprehensive health systems for new antibiotics

A key component of delivering new antibiotics to market is ensuring that they are used appropriately. To learn how this can be done, ReAct looked into how bedaquiline, a new anti-tuberculosis drug was introduced in South Africa. A key learning point from the project was that the requirements for sustainable use of antibiotics correlate with the building blocks of a strong health system.

ReAct Interview

ReAct Interview: How does antibiotics in food animal production end up in the environment?

Lucas Alonso, researcher at the University de la Plata in Argentina, headed an unpublished work for Latin America last year. Together with a group of researchers, he showed that antibiotics are found as pollutants in rivers and streams of the Cuenca del Plata, one of the largest drainage basins in the world. Here he replies to a few questions on the subject.


Shortages and AMR – why should we care? 4 consequences of antibiotic shortages

Shortages of antibiotics have become a global problem that also affect countries with robust healthcare and regulatory systems. Shortages of medicines in general cause patients to lose access to important treatments and, as such, lead to increased costs, morbidity and even mortality. But shortages of antibiotics may also lead to increases in antibiotic resistance.


Key take aways from CSO workshop on AMR in Kenya

End February Africa CDC and ReAct Africa convened a workshop targeting civil society organizations in the African region. The main objective of the workshop was to build capacity on antimicrobial resistance advocacy for civil society organizations. Here are some key take aways from the workshop and actions for 2020.


New fact sheet: Effective antibiotics - essential for childrens' survival

Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 years old. Many of these infections are likely caused by resistant bacteria. To shed further light on how antibiotic resistance affects children ReAct has produced a short fact sheet.


The 2020 AMR Benchmark Report – concerning findings with questionable framing

A new AMR Benchmark report was released during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020. While this new AMR Benchmark uncovers some truly concerning facts on company behavior, these findings are often not framed in a way that makes their significance clear. This brief ReAct assessment tries to put these findings in context and comments on the AMR Benchmark’s approach. Is the glass half full or half empty?


4 key reflections from engaging hospitals in India for antibiotic stewardship

Next month experts will gather in Bangkok at a WHO-organized meeting – this to discuss the roll-out of WHO’s new toolkit on Antimicrobial stewardship programmes in health-care facilities in low- and middle-income countries. I context of this ReAct takes the opportunity to share its reflections from a ReAct-led stewardship project in rural secondary level hospitals in India.

World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day: Cancer patients rely on effective antibiotics

We all know someone who has suffered from cancer: a family member, a friend or a colleague. Maybe yourself? Less well-known is how fundamental effective antibiotics are during the course of cancer treatment. Cancer patients rely on antibiotics for prevention and treatment of infections. This is one of the most common complications of their illness. Antibiotic resistance may have detrimental effects on cancer treatment outcomes.

ReAct Interview

Teacher Gustavo Cedillo, Ecuador, teaches children about the bacterial world

Gustavo Cedillo is a teacher in Cuenca, Ecuador. He is one of the teachers in the region using ReAct Latin America’s school material Alforja Educativa – The Educational Saddlebag. The material educates children about the world of bacteria. Professor Cedillo has worked as a teacher for 37 years and he really likes using a holistic perspective in his classes.


Our microbiome and noncommunicable diseases

What is the relationship between the bacteria in us and our health? And can these bacteria cause diseases that we think are noncommunicable? In 2017, ReAct published a factsheet on the human microbiome that brought up some of these connections, but today we know even more as research has moved forward.