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Innovative Approaches To Financing For New Antibiotics Can Spur Research & Development

STAT: Innovative ways to pay for new antibiotics will help fight superbugs
Kevin Outterson, executive director of Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X)

“…[W]hy are we facing what has been called a post-antibiotic apocalypse? … [W]hen it comes to antibiotics, the most innovative ones are put on the shelf, with doctors saving the newest, most powerful antibiotics as a last resort for patients who don’t respond to older drugs. While that approach may be great for medicine and public health, it’s terrible for innovation: Companies can’t make a profit on drugs they don’t sell. Antibiotics are in trouble because we’ve failed to recognize their protective value to society. … Based on the best available models, we can predict that innovative approaches to the development of new antibiotics, such as transferable exclusivity awards, would spur the development and approval of 10 to 20 powerful new antibiotics over the next three decades, giving us what we need to battle superbugs. It’s time to change the way we think about developing and using new antibiotics. Otherwise, we risk living — and dying — in a post-antibiotic era” (4/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.