Public Policy, Medical Innovations Needed To Address Antibiotic Resistance

Bloomberg: Fight to Save Antibiotics
Editorial Board

“For once, the headlines about the latest health scare are not hyperbole: The end of the Antibiotics Era may be nigh. Staving it off will require fast and creative thinking not only in medical science, but also in public policy. … Ideally, medical science would maintain a full pipeline of new antibiotics to keep one step ahead of germ evolution. … Even more ideal would be to have novel formulations that are sparingly used, so as not to overexpose them to the bacterial resistance machinery. What’s needed, from an economic standpoint, is a … guarantee that drugmakers can get paid for effective new formulations. … Improved medical technology is also necessary … [I]f public money is to be spent in support of basic science aimed at discovering new kinds of germ-killing compounds, then drug companies should be prepared to share their proprietary compound libraries. … [A]ntibiotics aren’t quite useless yet. But public health officials are right to warn that they soon will be — unless humans make a concerted effort to find new ways to fight the bacteria that threaten their existence” (6/2).