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U.K.’s Review On Antimicrobial Resistance Releases Final Report, Makes Recommendations To Alleviate Market Failures

The Atlantic: The Plan to Avert Our Post-Antibiotic Apocalypse
“…The scope of [drug resistance] is clear in [economist Jim] O’Neill’s final report, which launches … on the back of eight earlier interim publications. It is as thorough a review of the problem of drug-resistant infections as currently exists. … The report’s language is sober but its numbers are apocalyptic. If antibiotics continue to lose their sting, resistant infections will sap $100 trillion from the world economy between now and 2050, equivalent to $10,000 for every person alive today. Ten million people will die every year, roughly one every three seconds, and more than currently die from cancer…” (Yong, 5/19).

Bloomberg: Jim O’Neill Has a Plan to Make Big Pharma Avert Armageddon
“…Companies that don’t devote resources to develop antibiotics should pay a levy of 0.25 percent of annual sales into a pooled fund to support market rewards for rivals who successfully develop new treatments, said Jim O’Neill, who chaired the government’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. … Acknowledging market failures that led to a dearth of new antibiotics, O’Neill’s final 84-page report released Thursday recommends a lump sum payment of as much as $1.3 billion as a reward for a successful developer of a new antibiotic drug. Other suggestions included taxes on antibiotics and transferable vouchers to let successful developers go to the front of the line for any drug awaiting regulatory approval…” (Fourcade/Baker, 5/18).

CNBC: ‘Superbugs’ could cost $100 trillion — and millions of lives — by 2050: Report
“…According to a global review on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), drug-resistant infections are ‘one of the biggest health threats that mankind currently faces’ and there are fears of pandemics becoming more of a norm as antibiotics lose their efficacy…” (Ellyat, 5/19).

The Guardian: No antibiotics without a test, says report on rising antimicrobial resistance
“A blueprint to end the scourge of antimicrobial resistance proposes that drug companies should foot the bill for the development of new antibiotics and that patients should not be able to get them without a test to ensure they are needed…” (Boseley, 5/18).

Reuters: Industry hits back at idea of pharma levy in superbug fight
“The drug industry hit back on Thursday at a proposal to charge firms a levy to help fund development of new antibiotics and said the idea, set out in a high-level U.K. review of drug-resistant superbugs, would ‘undermine goodwill’…” (Hirschler, 5/19).

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