CREATE AWARENESS THROUGH MEDIA COVERAGE AND BUILD ON IDSA’ EXISTING RELATIONSHIPS WITH POLICYMAKERS
Antimicrobial resistance has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the three greatest threats to human health. Infections like MRSA are now found in healthy people because these bacteria, referred to as “superbugs,” are unaffected by the antibiotics we have to treat them. Without drastic action, we are in danger of having no defense against these lethal infections.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), a 9,000-member medical association, launched the 10 x ’20 Initiative to spur the development of 10 new antibiotics by 2020 to address this crisis. Many drug manufacturers had already abandoned antibiotic research programs due regulatory approval disincentives and slim profit margins, making a difficult road ahead. IDSA would need to encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make regulatory concessions to bring these lifesaving drugs to market faster, encouraging manufacturers to invest in research and development.
PCI identified key stakeholders, including government agencies, the United States Congress, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, health care providers, policy and legal communities, and the public.
PCI researched legislators, their voting history and commitment to public health, and reviewed government agency regulatory action to grasp the involvement of FDA, CDC and others.
Extensive media research was conducted to identify reporters, bloggers and socially active individuals that would be gatekeepers for bringing IDSA’s message to these publics.
Create awareness through media coverage
KEY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES
Key message development and spokesperson preparation.
Informational media interviews via media tours and desksides to educate national health, trade and policy reporters.
Publicity of Congressional briefings, government agency meetings and legislative updates.
Development of patient stories and a database of patients willing to speak with legislators and the media
Increased social media activity via IDSA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Press conferences on new research and data related to antimicrobial resistance, including a 10 x ’20 Initiative press conference at IDSA’s 2010 Annual Meeting.
Creation of logos and visuals to support the Initiative’s core messaging.
Spurred new antibiotic development. Since the campaign launched in 2010, one new antibiotic has been approved for use by the FDA and a second is expected to be fully approved by FDA in 2013.
Sounded the alarm about antimicrobial resistance. Since 2010, PCI secured more than 175 media placements reaching an audience of more than 10 million. Results include stories in policy media, top-tier consumer media outlets and health care and industry trades. These placements have built on each other, leading to a Washington Post editorial that will be turned into a documentary for Frontline. Government agencies have responded, including public comments by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in October 2012 regarding the need for a fast track approval pathway for antibiotics and a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology that explicitly recommended a new approval pathway for antibiotics.
Moved legislation. On June 19, 2012, House and Senate members announced a bipartisan agreement on the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. The Act was a critical first step in addressing the dry antibiotic research and development pipeline and included provisions similar to IDSA’s proposed Limited Population Antibacterial Drug (LPAD) Approval Mechanism. The work goes on as PCI continues to build public awareness for LPAD, which is expected to be tied, in full, to new legislation in 2013. With the new Congress, the GAIN Act and STAAR Act are in the process of being updated and resubmitted.