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Kelly Thibert, D.O., M.P.H., National President
American Medical Student Association
Sterling, VA – February 2, 2017: The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) has joined the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC), an independent coalition of members from six continents working in health, agriculture, consumer, and development sectors. ARC advocates for policy change and action to prevent the post-antibiotic era from becoming a bleak reality.
Since its formation in 2014 ahead of the 67th World Health Assembly when the initial resolution to draft the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was adopted, ARC has amplified the voice of civil society across countries and sectors at various policy fora. Through coordinated efforts, the Coalition has engaged intergovernmental organizations and national governments on the development and implementation of the global action plan on AMR; briefed United Nations agencies, country missions, and other stakeholders in advance of the High-level Meeting on AMR; and called on stakeholders including food retailers and health facilities to change their sourcing practices towards curbing drug resistance.
AMSA has a mission that is built upon our members’ commitment to advocate for the improvement of healthcare and healthcare-delivery to all people. We have advocated, and continue to advocate for, patients over profits. As students of medicine and public health, we fully believe in the efforts of ARC to help stem the crisis of increasing antimicrobial resistance and see our participation in this coalition as a step forward in the effective and safe care of our future patients.
Ahead of its formation, the founding organizations of ARC drafted the Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance, outlining a series of principles and actions necessary to “urgently avert the looming post-antibiotic catastrophe.” The Declaration addresses three key thematic areas including curbing excessive use while ensuring access for people in need; tackling excessive non-human use in food and agriculture; and developing an effective innovation system for new antibiotics, diagnostics, and other tools that support health, access and rational use. In this document, the Coalition also puts forward recommendations for international action and cooperation to be taken forward by governments and international organizations including the WHO, FAO, and OIE to effectively address and monitor progress towards curbing drug resistance across sectors. All members of the Coalition, including AMSA, are signatories to the Declaration on Antibiotic Resistance, committing themselves to the principles and actions.
Across several policy fora, ARC has called for international action and leadership to, in part promote new, needs-driven and open R&D models based on the principles of de-linkage (divorcing R&D costs from both price and sales volume), phase out the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animal production, and drive investment towards innovation of novel technologies as well as of novel stewardship practices that transform healthcare delivery and enable sustainable agricultural systems.
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.