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
These terms of reference were the main guiding document for the development of the work of TATFAR. They were drafted during the first face-to-face meeting of the group and agreed after various rounds of consultation between all the members of the group.
Objectives and Outcome
To goal of the task force is to increase the mutual understanding of U.S. and EU activities and programs relating to antimicrobial issues, deepen the transatlantic dialogue, provide opportunities to learn from each other, and promote information exchange, coordination and co-operation between the U.S. and the EU. The outcome of the task force efforts will be a proposal with suggestions for areas of future collaboration between the EU and the U.S. The proposal will be presented at the EU-U.S. Summit in 2011, leaving it for the political leaders to decide on which initiatives should be approved and prioritized for further cooperation. The challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance are well documented and one more report describing the current situation, the risks posed by antimicrobial resistance would not be the best use of the task force’s limited time and resources. Therefore, the task force 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 U.S. or the EU.
Composition of the Task Force
The task force and any related working groups shall be composed of members of the civil service for the EU and government officials for the U.S. The members shall have a general overview on health related issues or a specific knowledge on antimicrobial resistance. The task force consists of 18 members (up to nine from the U.S. and up to nine from the EU) and the secretariat. The United States are 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;
The work of the task force will be guided by the focus areas defined by the 2009 EU-U.S. Summit declaration "to establish a transatlantic task force on urgent antimicrobial resistance 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":
- Appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities;
- Prevention of drug resistant infection;
- Strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, diagnostic procedures and techniques, and maintaining existing drugs on the market;
- The task force aims to conclude its work by March 2011, but may continue beyond this timeframe with the consent of all parties.
The taskforce is co-chaired by the U.S. and the EU. The chairs are appointed by consensus. ECDC provides the task force with a secretariat to deal with the administrative aspects of organising and running the day-to-day arrangements. The work is conducted in three distinct phases: (1) agreement between the EU and the U.S. on the Terms of Reference, (2) identification of potential issues for cooperation, and (3) drafting and discussion of the final document. The taskforce held two face-to-face meetings. A kick-off meeting was held in the U.S. in June 2010 to agree on the Terms of reference, a timeline, appointment of the chairs of the taskforce and how to consult and involve third parties. A second face-to-face meeting was held in the EU in March 2011, to provide orientation to the final recommendations.
Consultation, External Interaction and Workshops
The U.S. and EU partners of the Task Force seeks, where appropriate, to obtain input from the public, interested experts and other stakeholders in accordance with each partner’s respective process for obtaining public comment, on the specific activities within the framework of the Declaration where EU-U.S. collaboration could be most fruitful.
- Page last reviewed: July 14, 2014
- Page last updated: July 14, 2014
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