The market for new antibiotics is broken, and this is a problem because our current antibiotics fail.
Almost any antibiotic I take is an old generic drug that has been discovered contracts Ago. Society relies on older generics because they are affordable, easy to manufacture, and widely accessible around the world. But unlike most generic drugs that maintain their effectiveness over time, our antibiotic arsenal is getting weaker thanks to a phenomenon known as resistance.
antibiotic resistance It occurs when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics and then develop to become immune to those drugs. It can reach a point where bacterial infections, called superbugs, do not respond to single or even all of the antibiotics. Soon, the generic antibiotics we rely on won’t work after we got scratched hiking or broke an arm on the playground.
When antibiotics fail, people pay with their lives.
We are now at a tipping point where antibiotic-resistant infections are spreading widely, the World Health Organization has declared that antibiotic resistance is one of the top ten Global health threats.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused accelerated This is a problem, but it’s a problem I’ve known all my life. I live with cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic condition that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in my airways. This thick, sticky mucus is the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to grow, and several types of bacteria have made contact with my lungs at home since I was a child. Decades of exposure to antibiotics have caused the bacteria living in my lungs to become resistant to all but a few options of last resort.
My health is stable because drug makers have historically been motivated to treat rare diseases like cystic fibrosis, so I have medication that alleviates the protein imbalance at the heart of my condition. But I still depend on antibiotics to keep fighting the infectious diseases in my lungs.
One of my best friends with cystic fibrosis died suddenly in 2018 when every antibiotic failed her. It was scary how fast that could happen.
Its end is already beginning around the world for people without Cystic fibrosis. Millions of Americans already suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and tens of thousands die annually because the inhibitory factor stands in the way of the development of a new antibiotic.
In the absence of new drugs, the only way to reduce the spread of resistance is to reduce the use of antibiotics. This basic policy that governs antibiotic prescriptions is called stewardship, and it reduces the evolutionary growth of superbugs because it leads to reduced exposure to antibiotics.
The result, however, is a negative feedback loop. As fewer antibiotics are prescribed, a whole host of drug makers have been assigned running out of moneyBecause many projects have failed, investors are putting their resources into other remedial areas. Now, just a a bunch Drugmakers are working to develop much-needed antibiotics.
Without capital, many small life sciences companies do not have the resources to invest in research and development, clinical trials, and more to bring new antibiotics to market.
If this market failure is not resolved, more people with bacterial infections will pay the ultimate price.
Congress needs to give the industry a stimulus.
Our legislators can with bipartisan Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to the Act on Ending Resistance (PASTEUR). The law encourages the development of new antibiotics with upfront payments after regulatory approval. In fact, the law proposes a subscription that would allow antibiotic supervisors to keep new drugs on the shelf until medical necessity calls for, while enabling drug makers to keep the lights on. The United kingdom He recently made a similar batch.
For investors who have poured their capital into other indexes, the law will provide certainty to revenue projections, and hopefully drive future funding for antibiotic makers.
For society, PASTEUR significantly reduces the risk of economic disasters. New antibiotics will get rid of the increased cost of antibiotic resistance, which already exists 55 billion dollars annually in the United States.
Most importantly for patients, the law will give us the options we desperately need to treat an incurable infection. The Pasteur Act is a meaningless bipartisan proposal that needs to be signed into law.
Gunnar Isaiasson is a pro-living patient with cystic fibrosis. His family’s non-profit organization, the Boomer Isaison Foundation, raised over $160 million in the war against CF. Leading the patient management strategy in Florence Healthcare. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed.