TATFAR was established under an agreement made at the November 3, 2009 EU-U.S. Summit:
“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.”
The outcome of the task force efforts will be a proposal with suggestions for areas of future collaboration between the EU and the US. The proposal will be presented at the EU-US Summit in 2011, leaving it for the political leaders to decide on which initiatives should be approved and prioritized for further cooperation. 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 or the EU.
TATFAR is composed of 18 members of the civil service for the EU and government officials for the US. The United States is represented by 9 officials from 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 director of the FDA Europe Office, Dr. Linda Tollefson, serves as one of two FDA members of TATFAR.
The work of TATFAR has been focused into three broad areas and organized into working groups to address each topic area:
- Appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities
- Prevention of drug resistant infections
- Strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, diagnostic procedures and techniques, and maintaining existing drugs on the market
As TATFAR is solely composed of civil servants, the US and EU partners agreed to solicit 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-US collaboration could be most fruitful. This was achieved through the organization of an online public consultation at EU level organized by the Public Health Department of the European Commission and via a listening session and a public meeting in the US organized by the Office of Global Health Affairs, HHS.
The work of TATFAR has progressed since the Summit declaration; working groups have deliberated and produced draft reports and all TATFAR members are commenting on these reports, focusing primarily on recommendations within each topic area for EU-U.S. collaboration in the future. TATFAR members will be meeting to produce an overall draft report in the Spring of 2011 in Budapest, hosted by the Hungarian Presidency of the European Council (January 1 – June 30, 2011.)