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Nov./Dec. 2009
Vol. 19 No. 11
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IDSA Calls for Global Commitment to Create 10 New Antibiotics by 2020
10 X ’20 Initiative Follows Creation of U.S. and EU Task Force to Address Antimicrobial Resistance

To address the urgent and growing global threat of antimicrobial resistance, IDSA in November called on U.S. and European Union (EU) leaders to commit to developing 10 new antibiotics by 2020, known as the 10 X ’20 Initiative. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, acting on behalf of the EU Presidency, the Society highlighted the critical importance of reaching this goal, which would represent a significant step toward safeguarding the health and well-being of patients around the world.

“We must succeed in creating a stable research infrastructure for antibiotic development, otherwise physicians around the world will be left without the tools they need to effectively treat patients,” IDSA President Richard Whitley, MD, FIDSA, said in a press release.

IDSA’s call followed an agreement, signed by the two leaders during a Nov. 2-3 summit in Washington, to create a joint U.S./EU transatlantic task force to encourage global research and development of new antibiotics and address antimicrobial resistance. The task force will begin its work by identifying and agreeing on several issues, including the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs in medical and veterinary communities, prevention of both health care- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and strategies for improving the antimicrobial drug pipeline.

In its letter, the Society called on the two governments to create a specialized antibacterial drug pipeline work group, which would be responsible for identifying strategies to motivate antibiotic drug development.  IDSA also urged that the U.S. and EU activities be carried out at the highest levels of both governments, within the White House—possibly in connection with the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology—and the European Commission.

In addition, IDSA has reached out to more than 100 international infectious diseases and microbiology societies around the world, requesting their support for the important global commitment to develop 10 new antibacterial drugs within 10 years.

IDSA also joined with the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and the Pew Health Group, an arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, in welcoming the establishment of the U.S./EU task force. In a joint press release, the organizations called for experts from the scientific, medical, and public health communities to be included as the initiative moves forward. The task force follows two recent European reports, similar to IDSA’s 2004 “Bad Bugs, No Drugs” report, that outline the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in Europe and highlight possible strategies to stimulate new drug development, including financial and other incentives (see related IDSA News article).

For more information about the task force and IDSA’s 10 X ’20 Initiative, see this column written by Robert J. Guidos, JD, IDSA’s vice president of public policy and government relations, for the Center for Global Development’s November newsletter. To learn more about IDSA’s efforts to address antimicrobial resistance, see IDSA’s website.
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