Economic Incentives Needed to Fix the Broken Antibiotic Market

Economic Incentives Needed to Fix the Broken Antibiotic Market
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Getty Images

Antibiotic resistance, a critical public health and national security threat, requires a robust arsenal of novel drugs that bacteria won’t readily outsmart. Yet the pipeline of antibiotics in clinical development is inadequate to address current—let alone future—patient needs. Getting a new antibiotic to market is resource-intensive, but the return on investment is relatively low. In part this stems from the public health imperative to use such drugs as little as possible, to preserve their effectiveness and slow the emergence of resistance. As a result, major pharmaceutical companies have backed away from antibiotic development, and the companies remaining in the space struggle to sustain their operations.

Consistent with recommendations from numerous studies and commissions, The Pew Charitable Trusts supports federal incentives to catalyze antibiotic development.

Antibiotics
Antibiotics
Opinion

A Special Place for Antibiotics in the Drug Pricing Debate

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Opinion

Just days ago, Melinta Therapeutics—one of the few companies to recently bring a new antibiotic to market—filed for bankruptcy. This news comes less than a year after another developer, Achaogen, did the same. If you haven’t heard of either, it may be because more than 90 percent of antibiotics in the pipeline today are being developed by small companies like these, instead of the pharmaceutical giants that once dominated the field.

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Agenda for America

Resources for federal, state, and local decision-makers

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

Antibiotics
Antibiotics
Data Visualization

The Critical Need for New Antibiotics

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Data Visualization

In the U.S., there are not enough antibiotics in development to meet current and anticipated patient needs.

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Lab worker swabbing a petri dish with cotton swab
Speeches & Testimony

Pew, Stakeholders Urge Hearing on Antimicrobial Resistance

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Speeches & Testimony

The Pew Charitable Trusts joined more than 50 organizations urging the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce to convene a hearing on the worsening crisis of antimicrobial resistance.

Close up of doctor with bottle writing prescription
Close up of doctor with bottle writing prescription
Speeches & Testimony

Pew Encourages Expansion of Antibiotics Initiatives

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Speeches & Testimony

In a letter sent to the agency on June 14, 2021, Pew encouraged CMS to embrace reimbursement reforms such as those laid out in the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms (DISARM) Act of 2019.

A gloved hand holding a petri dish with green prescription pills
A gloved hand holding a petri dish with green prescription pills
Speeches & Testimony

Urgent Action Needed to Spur Antibiotic Innovation

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Speeches & Testimony

The World Health Organization, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Global AMR R&D Hub are urging policymakers and innovation stakeholders to stimulate the insufficient global antibiotic pipeline.