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World’s Leaders Should Commit To Developing, Implementing National Action Plans Against Antimicrobial Resistance, ‘Be Held To Account’

Wall Street Journal: Saving Antibiotics So That Antibiotics Can Save Lives
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust

“…[A] central challenge posed by drug-resistant infections is the desperate need to continually stimulate the development of new antimicrobial drugs to replace the ones lost to resistance. … Rewarding pharmaceutical companies that invest in antimicrobial [research and development (R&D)] with financial incentives … is one solution. … Another mechanism currently used in the U.S. is the Orphan Drug Act, which gives companies tax incentives, marketing exclusivity and R&D subsidies to fight diseases that are so rare the market becomes too small for companies to recoup their investments. But these initiatives need leadership. We need to set verifiable targets for the restriction of antibiotics in food production, a plan to achieve public understanding of the issue, investment in global surveillance, real-time diagnostics, and new drugs and vaccines. Leaders at the U.N. General Assembly should commit to supporting countries to develop and implement national action plans. And countries should be held to account. The future of modern medicine and health security rests on the decisions we take now” (9/15).

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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.