G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola 12/10/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You also have the opportunity to offer additional support to your subscription, or to donate. The health ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) most developed countries have issued a declaration on antimicrobial resistance and Ebola. The governments said they would explore innovative economic incentives to promote research and development of new antibiotics, such as a global antibiotic research fund and a market entry reward mechanism. The G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) met from 8-9 October in Berlin and agreed to the Berlin Declaration [pdf] on Antimicrobial Resistance – Global Union for Antibiotics Research and Development (GUARD), aimed at supporting developing countries to develop national antimicrobial resistance action plans. The G7 health ministers also issued a commitment on lessons learned from Ebola, and supported the 2005 World Health Organization International Health Regulations (IHR), insisting on the need to comply with them. Antimicrobial Resistance Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a three-fold approach, according to the declaration: improving infection prevention, conserving the effectiveness of existing and future antimicrobials, and engaging in research to develop new antimicrobials, vaccines, treatment alternatives, and rapid diagnostic tools. The declaration supports the WHO Global Action Plan on AMR, adopted in May 2015 at the World Health Assembly (IPW, WHO, 25 May 2015) “The development pipeline of new antimicrobials has slowed down significantly in recent decades,” the declaration said, and working with WHO, they will promote a global network of researchers, experts from academia, industry, healthcare, veterinary care, regulatory agencies, food safety and agriculture, philanthropic organisations and international organisations. “We see the need for global access to – and availability, affordability and rational use of – safe, effective and quality-assured antimicrobials,” it said. The resolution says the ministers will explore the “feasibility and need of setting up a global antibiotic product development partnership for new and urgently needed antibiotics, vaccine development … and seek collaboration with others such as WHO and Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative (DNDi).” The ministers also said they are committed to “explore innovative economic incentives to enhance the research and development of new antibiotics.” And they will “investigate various instruments, such as a global antibiotic research fund and a market entry reward mechanism for truly new antibiotics targeting the most important pathogens and most needed for global public health.” The resolution calls for a “High Level Meeting on AMR in 2016 at the United Nations General Assembly to promote increased political awareness, engagement and leadership on antimicrobial resistance among Heads of States, Ministers and global leaders.” Ebola Commitment The ministers’ commitment stresses that “the legally binding” WHO IHRs are “the primary international instrument designed to help protect countries from the international spread of disease, including public health risks and public health emergencies.” They said they support “the IHR in expressly requiring countries to collaborate with each other in developing and maintaining the core capacities for IHR implementations.” In consequence, the G7 health ministers have agreed to offer to help “at least 60 countries, including the countries of West Africa, over the next five years to implement the IHR…,” according to the document. The initiative will be conducted in close cooperation and coordination with the WHO, and the ministers will work closely with institutions such as the World Bank, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. A number of gaps have been identified in the R&D response to Ebola, the document says, adding, “We are convinced that it is essential to ensure that country-owned research is enhanced.” A broad range of capacity building activities are needed in developing countries, and training of research workers, the ministers said. Germany, which has the G7 presidency this year, said health is a major focus of the presidency, according to a press release from the German Federal Ministry of Health. “Multidrug-resistant pathogens do not stop at borders, they are a problem that concerns the whole world,” said the release. “This is why Germany will be campaigning for our G7 partner countries to step up their commitment to fighting antimicrobial resistance.” Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."G7 Health Ministers Propose Incentives For New Antibiotics, Commit Help On Ebola" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.