Report recommends paying companies $1bn for every new antibiotic discovered

Lord Jim O’Neill, who led the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, has some strong words regarding how we collectively approach the growing issue of antibiotic resistance. First and foremost, we need a campaign to stop people “treating antibiotics like sweets”, and it has to be global in scope in order to prevent medicine from “being cast back into the dark ages”.

Unfortunately, all too often, such calls – which have been growing in urgency and frequency – are largely ignored by industry since it’s both relatively unprofitable, and the public as doesn’t appear to be an immediate concern. It is hoped that the release of a new global report, backed by the UK government, will shed further light and urge quicker action on the increasingly serious issue.

According to the BBC, “the report has received a mixed response with some concerned that it does not go far enough.”

The story, dated May 19, 2016 highlights the key points.

The report brings together eight previous interim reports that recommended:

  • An urgent and massive global awareness campaign as most people are ignorant of the risks
  • Establishing a $2bn ($1.4bn) Global Innovation Fund for early stage research
  • Improved access to clean water, sanitation and cleaner hospitals to prevent infections spreading
  • Reduce the unnecessary vast antibiotic use in agriculture including a ban on those “highly critical” to human health
  • Improved surveillance of the spread of drug resistance
  • Paying companies $1bn (£0.7bn) for every new antibiotic discovered
  • Financial incentives to develop new tests to prevent antibiotics being given when they will not work
  • Promoting the use of vaccines and alternatives to drugs

The review said the economic case for action “was clear” and could be paid for using a small cut of the current health budgets of countries or through extra taxes on pharmaceutical companies not investing in antibiotic research.

Read the complete BBC news story here:

See the full report here: