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Updated: Invitation to the press: World gathers for unique conference on antibiotic resistance

Pressmeddelande   •   Sep 02, 2010 14:12 CEST

The growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which compromises our ability to treat common infections, represents one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide. Researchers, politicians and representatives from public health organisations and the pharmaceutical industry will gather in Uppsala from 6–8 September to discuss global strategies.

Addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance will require coordinated efforts to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use and develop new medicines. Ensuring that people in low-income countries have access to effective medicines is a priority.

During Sweden’s EU Presidency in 2009, a conference was held in Stockholm with the aim of initiating an innovative approach to medicine-related issues. The September 2010 conference, will build upon the previous one, but feature an expanded perspective and with participants from around the world.

H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden will be present at the opening of the conference. Journalists are welcome to attend the opening session (see the attached programme for additional information). Questions will be answered at press meetings arranged in association with the event (see below).

“This conference is of major importance, as it represents the first time that so many different global players will gather in this way”, says Otto Cars, professor of infectious diseases at Uppsala University and Chairman of the International Secretariat for ReAct (www.reactgroup.org).

“Good research and good intentions are not enough. Priorities need to be established, along with new guidelines, diagnostic methods and incentives to promote investments in pharmaceutical development. Global cooperation and concrete proposals are required.”

“Motivating companies to invest in the development of antibiotics that are affordable to people in low income countries is a challenge, and where return of investment must no longer depend on large sales volumes to minimize antibiotic resistance.”

Representatives from all relevant stakeholders, including international public health organisations, national agencies and governments, the international research community and companies within the fields of pharmaceutical development and diagnostics, will take part in the conference.

Participants will include a number of national health ministry representatives, such as Professor Samir Brahmachari, who is also Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in New Delhi, India. Guénaël Rodier from WHO, Professor Anthony So of Duke University in the U.S., Richard Bergström, Director General of LIF, the Swedish association for the research-based pharmaceutical industry, Donna Kusemererwa, head of an international medicine-distribution network based in Kenya, and Dr. John Clemens, Director-General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in the Republic of Korea, will also attend. Members of the transatlantic task force created during the Swedish EU Presidency to address antibiotic resistance issues will also be present, as will EU Commission representatives charged with responsibility for antibiotics issues.  

During the second day of the conference, four working groups will focus on developing concrete proposals for improving the antibiotic resistance situation. The design of workable models will be addressed. The hope is that such models can provide a basis for continued work towards long-term solutions.

Journalists will have the opportunity to ask questions at press meetings on the first and last days of the conference. Press meetings can also be followed via the University Website and it will also be possible to pose questions via Skype. Get your own Skype account here. Registration for press starts at 10 am, Sep 6.

Press meeting schedule:
Day 1:  10:30 a.m. in room X of the University Main Building, and online (http://media.medfarm.uu.se/live1/).
Day 3: Directly following the last lecture at approximately 2:00 p.m. in room X of the University Main Building, and online.

Journalists are also invited to attend the opening session, to be held from 12:45–2:30 p.m. on Monday, 6 September. Coverage of the opening session will be provided via http://media.medfarm.uu.se/live1/

Place: Grand Auditorium, University Main Building, on St. Olofsgatan in Uppsala.

For press passes and information about press-related issues, please contact:
Anneli Waara, Senior Press Officer, Uppsala University: +46 704 25 07 18 (mobile) or anneli.waara@uadm.uu.se
Peter Lundström, head of communications for ReAct: +46 709 37 15 35 or peter.lundstrom@medsci.uu.se

For more information, please contact:
Andreas Heddini, head of ReAct: +46 701 67 93 72 (mobile)
Anna E. Hedin, project manager: +46 701 67 93 71 (mobile)
Otto Cars, professor of infectious diseases at Uppsala University and Chairman of the International Secretariat for ReAct: +46 708 92 02 03 (mobile)

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