News and Opinions  –  2014

The world’s collective responsibility to conserve antibiotic effectiveness

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23 May 2014

In the crowded arena of global health issues, growing antibiotic resistance (ABR), access to needed antibiotics and rational use demand the world’s attention. Despite extensive debate there is not yet concerted global action. With the policy document “The World´s Collective Responsibility to Conserve Antibiotic Effectiveness” (PDF, 1MB), ReAct takes the discussion further and calls for a formal global debate on future distribution and use of new antibiotics with the participation of all stakeholders. It suggests concrete actions and presents ideas on what governments, health practitioners, businesses and the international community can do to deal with it.

The policy document is in line with and supports the declaration launched by the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition yesterday.


Having successfully argued for a different business model for research and development (R&D) ReAct initiated a debate about how future antibiotics could be distributed and used in a way that would minimize the risk of development of resistance. When new antibiotics are developed, the following questions must be answered:

  • What policies must be put in place to minimize the development of antibiotic resistance (ABR)?
  • How can we ensure that new antibiotics are made globally accessible and affordable to all those who need them?
  • How should new antibiotics be distributed to balance the need for access against the risk of inappropriate use?

This document builds upon the ideas and proposals generated in response to the above questions at two roundtable discussionson
“Exploring Ways to Preserve Future Novel Antibiotics”, organized by ReAct in the fall of 2011in New Delhi, India and in Antalya, Turkey which aimed to begin a global debate on the questions set out above.

Read the policy document “The World´s Collective Responsibility to Conserve Antibiotic Effectiveness” (PDF, 1MB).