ReAct Europe, Uppsala University, decided in 2013 to participate in DRIVE-AB* because we believed this project was an opportunity to draw on the experience of a broad set of stakeholders to deliver recommendations for truly transformative innovation models that would ensure both equitable access to and conservation of new antibiotics.
Important research by academic partners has been carried out during the course of DRIVE-AB, which will hopefully contribute to the ongoing debate on novel models for innovation, access and conservation of new antibiotics.
However, over the course of the project, the management, whereby each work package was co-led by industry and academic partners, led to unresolved problems of conflict of interest in shaping policy recommendations. The lack of clearly established processes to guide decision-making, lessened our confidence in the ability of the project to present multistakeholder recommendations where possible, as well as being transparent about areas of dissent.
The culmination was a recent commentary submitted for publication to the Lancet Infectious Diseases on behalf of the DRIVE-AB Steering Committee that contained preliminary recommendations that were not agreed upon nor supported by the full group; however, this fact was not reflected in the commentary.
ReAct cannot stand behind a process where recommendations ignoring key disagreements in the group are presented with the aim to be perceived as multistakeholder recommendations, and has therefore decided to withdraw from DRIVE-AB.
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Helle Aagaard, e-mail: email@example.com, Phone: +46 18 471 66 80
ABOUT DRIVE AB
*DRIVE-AB is a research project under The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) – a public-private joint undertaking between the European Commission and the European Pharmaceutical Industry Association (EFPIA).
The overall budget of the DRIVEAB is €10,8M out of which the European Commission provides €6,3M and EFPIA partners provide approximately €3M in in-kind contributions. DRIVEAB has 16 public and 7 private partners. In order to balance the private and public interest in the project representatives from both groups have co-led the various work streams.