BSAC responds to UN consultation on panel to coordinate action against superbugs

16th June 2020

Following the Interagency Coordination Group’s (IACG) recommendation that the UN Secretary General should establish an Independent Panel on Evidence on Action Against Antimicrobial Resistance, an advisory group was established to develop draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Panel. Here is the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy’s (BSAC) response to that draft.

Independent Panel on Evidence for Action Against Antimicrobial Resistance Final Draft Terms of Reference for Public Discussion

Objectives of the Panel across the One Health spectrum

Term of Reference: Assess emerging and future economic, health, environmental, hygiene and sanitation risks and impacts of antimicrobial resistance, and actions and interventions for risk management

BSAC’s response: “We would like to see the Panel go further and commit to undertaking some form of financial modelling to ascertain how much investment is likely to be required, where the investment should come from, and how the spending of this investment should be prioritised.”

Term of Reference: Provide evidence-based practical options for mitigation and containment actions and interventions, including on local knowledge, and considering existing normative and standard setting functions, to address challenges in all settings, particularly in low-and middle-income countries

BSAC’s response: “One radical – but ultimately very practical – way to address the challenges in all settings would be to create a single global measurement for antibiotic consumption. A first attempt at this has already been made through the creation of the Antibiotic Footprint initiative, which BSAC helped to lead.”

Structure & Membership

Term of Reference: Nomination and Selection – Experts will be identified and appointed by the UN Secretary General upon recommendation of a Nomination Committee that will be convened by the Tripartite organizations. Nomination of members will take into consideration gender balance and geographic diversity as well as representation from across the One Health spectrum

BSAC’s response: “Will the Nomination Committee be taking any steps to guard against the risk of cognitive bias when identifying potential members of the Panel?”

Communication with governments and other stakeholders

Term of Reference: The Panel will confer and communicate with the Global Leaders Group (pending its establishment), the Tripartite and other organizations as well as the partnership platform (pending establishment) where governments, civil societies and the private sector interact”

BSAC’s response: “It is critically important that sharper definition is given to the roles of the Independent Panel, the Global Leaders Group, the Tripartite, and the partnership platform – as well as to the relationship of one to the other.

“We also look forward to hearing more about the partnership platform as BSAC is preparing to launch a global health initiative called Stop Superbugs. We know many public engagement projects are happening in communities across the world. We also know there is an untapped reservoir of support, in the form of financial and human capital. The challenge is to connect these projects with potential supporters and then to promote the partnerships by sharing stories and encouraging more projects and more support. By building an international support network, co-ordinating community action, and championing local leadership, we aim to stop superbugs one project at a time. We look forward to understanding how this, and other initiatives, might work with the partnership platform.”

For details, contact Tracey Guise, CEO BSAC, tguise@bsac.org.uk.

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