Viewpoint: Our desperate need for new antibiotics won’t be met without government incentives

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Image: grThirteen/Thinkstock

As the number of infections resistant to antimicrobial drugs continues to rise around the world, and with it their huge human and financial toll, we urgently need new ways to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics and to develop much-needed new ones.

The AMR Industry Alliance, which I chair, warned in its 2018 report tracking progress in tackling antimicrobial resistance that if financial incentives are not rapidly put in place, companies will cease research on new antibiotics. We need to do everything we can to give companies still in this field reasons to continue.

Instead of recreating the wheel with one or more government-run companies aimed at creating new antimicrobials, the various sectors need to work together to address the specific economic challenges faced by antibiotic developers. Incentives currently on the table, such as pull incentives that help companies ensure a predictable return for new antibiotics and adapted reimbursement procedures to better capture the value that novel antibiotics bring to patients and health care systems, represent relatively modest tweaks to the current system and build on the biopharmaceutical sector’s demonstrated capacity and proven ability to develop new and needed products.

Related article:  US and China buck WHO-backed global effort to expand access to COVID vaccine

Read full, original post: Creating new antimicrobial drugs will require governments working with industry

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