Various Sectors Must Work Together To Develop Market-Based Incentives For New Antimicrobial Drugs

STAT: Creating new antimicrobial drugs will require governments working with industry
Thomas B. Cueni, director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and chair of the AMR Industry Alliance

“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. Creating state-run or publicly owned pharmaceutical companies, an idea recently floated by British economist Jim O’Neill, isn’t the way to proceed. … Developing new drugs to fight bacterial and other infections is a vastly different enterprise than developing a new medication for diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. … [I]f financial incentives are not rapidly put in place, companies will cease research on new antibiotics. … Plans are taking shape for new incentives that would help provide a more predictable and sustainable return on investment for successful innovation to combat antimicrobial resistance, including pilot programs that better recognize the value of new antibiotics instead of volume sales. … The public-funded research and development model has been tried before for tuberculosis, and it hasn’t delivered the desired innovation. … 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. … Rewarding successful research with market-based incentives … is likely to be more effective than subsidizing research…” (4/9).

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