Driving reinvestment in R&D for antibiotics and advocating their responsible use

Statement on ReAct’s Departure from the DRIVE-AB Consortium

DRIVE-AB regrets that ReAct has decided to leave the DRIVE-AB partnership. We believe that ReAct has contributed positively to the conversations and development of DRIVE-AB’s research. With ReAct leaving, we lose an important voice within the project to represent civil society.

DRIVE-AB (www.drive-ab.eu) has been from the start a public-private partnership including 22 partners from large pharmaceutical companies, academia, and civil society, in other words, a contrasting mix of people with different experience, expertise and visions. This is the strength and the originality of the project, but also represents its major challenge.

As the project developed, DRIVE-AB has had to adapt to a fast-moving environment due to political timelines and the high momentum around antimicrobial resistance, to which it contributed. This has placed intense pressure on participants to deliver and have raised the interests at stake considerably since the project was conceived back in 2013. Under these circumstances, we’ve also been faced with the challenging task of weighing data and evidence from all DRIVE-AB participants to find realistic solutions to the project’s key questions and present them in a timeframe that is relevant for policy makers. Our work is not done and final recommendations will be released later this year.

Although we were aware that aligning behind all recommendations would be difficult, DRIVE-AB has always been committed to building consensus. All partners have consistently been included in meetings and are encouraged to comment on major documents and report drafts. Publications have followed a standard process, including circulation to all members for feedback, often with numerous iterations to include participants’ positions. DRIVE-AB-authored policy briefs and other publications issued so far represent the majority agreement of the group. Minority views will be especially visible in the final DRIVE-AB report to be released in September 2017.

We acknowledge the procedural complexities of this public-private multi-stakeholder project and that some improvements could have been made. In terms of fostering consensus, we recognize a more formal process could have been put in place earlier in the project. At the same time, we are unsure whether a more formal process would have been more successful in aligning people’s visions.

Despite the above-mentioned challenges, our commitment remains strong and DRIVE-AB will deliver reports of our work that will be of high quality and interest to all key stakeholders.

For futher information, please contact Ursula Theuretzbacher: utheuretzbacher(at)cefaia.com .