We’re Losing the Race Against Antibiotic Resistance, but There’s Also Reason for Hope – NYT
While we can quibble about the exact cost of bringing a new drug to market, we can all agree that it’s a lot of money. Drugs in the United States are profitable when they are sold in great volume or when they are very expensive. Antibiotics, as a class of drug, provide a poor return on investment for pharmaceutical companies. They face low-priced and generic competition. Any breakthrough drug will almost certainly be held in reserve for only the most resistant cases, meaning there’s not a huge immediate market for it, when a company still has exclusivity.
Many people have proposed new ways to incentivize and reward innovation. The G7 group is poised to coordinate action, as is the G-20 group and the World Health Organization. In Davos last month, nearly the entire drug industry agreed. It released a statement calling for big changes in how we pay for antibiotic research and development, including the idea of “delinkage” or paying for value as opposed to volume of antibiotics sold.