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U.K. Panel On Antibiotic Resistance Suggests Creation Of Research Fund For Pharmaceutical Companies In 3rd Report

News outlets discuss the third report from the U.K. government’s Antimicrobial Review (AMR) Committee.

Financial Times: Big pharma risks public backlash on antibiotics, says Jim O’Neill
“Pharmaceuticals companies risk a backlash similar to the one experienced by banks after the financial crisis if they fail to invest more in new antibiotics, according to the head of a [U.K.] government-backed commission looking into the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Jim O’Neill, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said drug companies would be blamed for the rising number of deaths from drug-resistant superbugs if they refused to contribute to global efforts to develop a new generation of anti-infective medicines…” (Ward, 5/14).

The Guardian: Pay big pharma to solve antibiotics crisis, says U.K. government review
“Pharmaceutical companies should be given cash incentives of up to $3bn to find and develop new antibiotics desperately needed to keep infections at bay, according to a U.K. government review. Jim O’Neill, the economist and former chair of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, asked to find solutions to the global antibiotic crisis, said at the launch of his report that a fund worth between $16bn and $37bn per decade would be enough to incentivize drug companies to turn their attentions to antibiotics…” (Boseley, 5/13).

Press Association: Subsidy call for new antibiotics
“…Mr. O’Neill said: ‘No new classes of antibiotics have been created for decades and our current drugs are becoming less effective as resistance increases. We need to kick-start drug development to make sure the world has the drugs it needs, to treat infections and to enable modern medicine and surgery to continue as we know it. My review on AMR (anti-microbial resistance) has today published clear proposals to supercharge antibiotics discovery, potentially saving millions of lives for a fraction of the 100 trillion USD (U.S. dollars) cost of inaction’…” (5/13).

Wall Street Journal: Multibillion-Dollar Investment Needed to Fight Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’
“…Mr. O’Neill said extra investment was needed at every stage of the antibiotic development process to ‘radically overhaul’ the antibiotics pipeline over the next 20 years. He proposed giving companies that already have the ‘highest priority antibiotics’ in their pipelines a ‘lump-sum’ payment. This would ‘delink’ profitability from sales volumes, lowering the risk of developing a novel antibiotic as well as reducing the incentive to oversell the drug once it is on the market…” (Roland, 5/13).

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