The growing global threat of AMR was recognized by U.S. President Obama, Swedish Prime Minister and then-European Council President Reinfeldt, and European Commission President Barroso at the 2009 U.S. – EU summit. The summit declaration called for the establishment of “― a transatlantic taskforce on urgent AMR issues focused on three key areas: 1- appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities, 2- prevention of both healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and 3- strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, which could be better addressed by intensified cooperation between us.” The Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance (TATFAR) was constituted based on this declaration.
TATFAR identified and adopted 17 recommendations for future collaborations between the U.S. and the EU. Collaboration between the U.S. and the EU has led to increased information exchange, understanding of best approaches and practices, and development of peer relationships. While significant progress has been made, concern related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to escalate. Therefore, the mandate of the taskforce has been extended for two additional years. In May 2014, the taskforce will released a report summarizing the progress and the outcomes of the implementation of the 17 recommendations. The taskforce decided to continue with 15 recommendations, retiring two recommendations, and created one new recommendation for collaboration over the next two-year period.
CDC currently provides the secretariat for the task force and publishes documents relating to the work of the task force on this website. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) provided the secretariat from 2009-2013.
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Food and Drug Administration
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- European Commission - Directorate-General for Health and Consumers
- European Commission - Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- European Medicines Agency
- European Food Safety Authority
- Council of the European Union
Objectives and Outcome
The taskforce should increase the mutual understanding of member governments’ activities and programs relating to the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance, pursue an effective global dialogue, provide opportunities for shared learning, and promote information exchange, coordination and cooperation among the US and the EU.
The challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are well-documented and one more report describing the current situation and the risks posed by AMR is not the best use of the taskforce‘s limited time and resources. Therefore, the taskforce will not duplicate what is being done in other fora. The outcome of the taskforce should be regarded exclusively as technical and scientific statements or suggestions and neither represent or impose a formal or binding position on the part of the US and the EU.
The work of the taskforce builds on work done by TATFAR during the period 2011 – 2013 and reflects the experience of the members and the staffs who have contributed to the success of the first TATFAR period.
Key Focus Areas
The work of the taskforce is guided by the Key Areas defined by the 2009 EU–US Summit declaration "to establish a transatlantic taskforce on urgent AMR issues focused on appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities, prevention of both healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, which could be better addressed by intensified cooperation between us".
The three Key Areas are:
- Appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities
- Prevention of drug-resistant infections
- Strategies to improve the pipeline of new antibacterial drugs for use in human medicine
Composition and structure of the taskforce
The taskforce and any related working groups shall be composed of members of the civil service and/or other government officials of the EU and the US. The members shall have a general overview on health-related issues or a specific knowledge on AMR in one of the three Key Focus Areas. At the start of this TATFAR period (2014 – 2016) the taskforce will consist of 18 members (up to nine from the US and up to nine from the EU) and the secretariat.
The United States will be represented by the following agencies or offices of the Department of Health and Human Services:
- Office of Global Health Affairs (OGHA);
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID/NIH);
The European Union is represented by the following agencies and organizations:
- EC-Directorate General for Health and Consumers (2 representatives);
- EC-Directorate General for Research;
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC);
- European Medicines Agency (EMA);
- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA);
Council of the European Union represented by the TRIO Presidency in order to keep the Council regularly informed of progress.
- Participate in biannual TATFAR meetings
- Identify implementers for recommendations for collaboration
- Review and approve TATFAR outputs including, but not limited to, changes to recommendations for collaboration, progress reports and meeting minutes
The taskforce is co-chaired by the US Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs and the Director of the European Commission Public Health Directorate.
The Co-Chairs will:
- Identify individuals to serve as TATFAR members
- Lead (or assign a delegate to lead) TATFAR meetings
- Review and approve TATFAR output
A secretariat is assigned to deal with the administrative aspects of organizing and running the day-to-day arrangements of the taskforce. ECDC provided the secretariat until 31 December 2013. Since January of 2014, the CDC took on this role for another two years.
While CDC serves in the lead role as secretariat, other non-members that serve as points of contact for the member governments and assist with the coordination of taskforce activities will fall under the title of secretariat.
The secretariat will:
- Schedule and prepare agendas of biannual TATFAR meetings and quarterly working group meetings
- Draft minutes for both TATFAR and working group meetings
- Maintain a spreadsheet to track progress on recommendations
- Maintain the TATFAR website
- Facilitate TATFAR correspondence
- Draft and maintain TATFAR documents, reports and meeting minutes as appropriate
The TATFAR members will identify technical experts (implementers) to work on recommendations for collaboration.
- Collaborate on the accomplishment of recommendations
- Report on the progress for each recommendation no less than quarterly
Key Area Working Groups:
Each of the three Key Areas of the taskforce will have a working group headed by a Lead and Co-Lead to monitor the progress of existing recommendations and to develop new recommendations. The Lead and Co-Lead will be TATFAR members and will be nominated by the taskforce. The working groups will consist of implementers under the respective Key Area.
Image description: The image is that of the current structure of TATFAR. The TATFAR is co-chaired by representatives from the EU and the US. There are three key areas of TATFAR and recommendations under each. TATFAR implementers work to address recommendations under each of these three key areas.
The taskforce is co-chaired by the Director of the European Commission Public Heath Directorate and US Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs. The full membership of the taskforce will hold meetings no less than every six months by teleconference with one in-person meeting every two years. The taskforce will issue a report on its progress every two years.
There will be a working group for each of the three Key Areas of focus. Each working group will be comprised of a lead and co-lead from the TATFAR membership and implementers for the recommendations under each Key Area. The working groups will hold quarterly meetings by teleconference to monitor progress on the implementation of existing recommendations, develop new recommendations, or propose the retirement of recommendations.
Recommendations for Collaboration
Implementers for each recommendation will establish their own schedules for meetings and correspondence. Implementers will report on the progress for each recommendation to the Key Area Working group Co-Leads no less than quarterly.
A Key Area Working group may propose to retire a recommendation if progress is stalled or work has been completed. The Co-leads for each working group will present a proposal for the retirement of a recommendation, including justification, to the full TATFAR. This may be done via email or at a full TATFAR meeting.
A Key Area Working group may propose new recommendations for collaboration to the TATFAR. The Co-leads will be responsible for drafting the recommendation and presenting it to the full TATFAR via email or at a meeting.
The proposal for a new recommendation shall include:
- The Key Focus Area under which the recommendation will be included
- The area of collaboration
- A brief statement describing the issue
- Description of the recommendation
- Proposed implementers
- Proposed timeline for the implementation of the recommendation
The TATFAR will review proposals for new recommendations for collaboration. In some cases the TATFAR may require a feasibility assessment before the proposed recommendation can be approved.
Consultation, external interaction and workshops
The members of the taskforce will seek where appropriate, to obtain input from the public, interested experts and other stakeholders, in accordance with each member‘s respective process for obtaining public comment, on the specific activities within the framework of the Declaration where member collaboration can be most fruitful. As feasible, meetings to which public participation is invited will be conducted not less than every two years.
- Page last reviewed: July 14, 2014
- Page last updated: July 14, 2014
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