Incentivizing antibiotic access and innovation
Antibiotic resistance imperils global health, with multi-drug resistant bacterial infections accounting for over 33,000 deaths in Europe alone in 2015. The number of annual global deaths is unknown but predicted to be
large. Yet contrary to the public health need, antibiotic innovators and manufacturers are struggling.
New antibiotics are unable to generate revenues large enough to sustain the interest of multinational players and even small developers are failing to cover their costs, resulting in bankruptcies of small antibiotic innovators. Melinta, an American antibiotic innovator went bankrupt in December 2019, after receiving regulatory approval in the United States and Europe for an antibiotic judged as “innovative” against a “critical” priority pathogen by the World Health Organization. Physicians use new antibiotics as a last resort in order to preserve their efficacy. Whereas this is sound stewardship, it dis-incentivizes innovation since unit sales determine revenues.
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