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What they are saying: PASTEUR Act can help fight antimicrobial resistance

Andrew Powaleny
Andrew Powaleny November 30, 2022

What they are saying: PASTEUR Act can help fight antimicrobial resistance.

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing health crisis resulting in nearly 50,000 U.S. deaths each year and 1.27 million globally on an annual basis – higher than HIV/AIDS and malaria. To slow and control continued AMR, we need a robust pipeline of novel products, and at the same time we need to ensure they are used only in a limited set of circumstances and in only the most necessary cases. Without new products to address the problem, AMR globally could take 10 million lives yearly by 2050. Countless modern medical advances that depend on antibiotics—such as routine surgery, cancer therapy and treatment of chronic disease—will be jeopardized if action is not taken now.

Having a robust pipeline of medicines to address AMR is essential because the more we use antimicrobial medicines the more resistance we create. Last year, we reported an R&D pipeline of nearly 90 medicines in development to address AMR. That report confirmed what has been warned by other experts — there are too few antimicrobial medicines in development targeting the priority pathogens discussed in new data from The Lancet to meet current and anticipated needs.

We urge policymakers to address the growing threat of AMR by passing the Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Upsurging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act, a commonsense proposal that will create desperately needed incentives to ensure the availability of critical-need antimicrobial products and encourage the development of new antimicrobial medicines for the future. 

Researching and developing a single new medicine to combat AMR can take anywhere from 10 to more than 20 years through a process that is often fraught with more setbacks than success. The PASTEUR Act is one part of the solution to bolstering our preparedness for the AMR crisis and enhancing health care resiliency to make sure we are stronger, healthier and better prepared for the next public health emergency.

See what others are saying about the need to pass the PASTER Act now:

“The Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions To End Upsurging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act (H.R. 3932 and S.2076) that is currently before Congress would address this unique situation by allowing antimicrobial makers to enter into a subscription-like model with the federal government to ensure new antimicrobial medicines are available to address critical or hard-to-treat infections. It’s similar to Netflix — subscribers can use as much or as little of the product as they need, rather than buying the medicine per dose. By paying antimicrobial makers a predetermined amount of money for the availability of their treatment, these companies don’t need to rely on the number of antimicrobial drugs sold to stay afloat financially. PASTEUR is a unique financing model that creates a reliable market for critically needed antimicrobials — and as a result, promises to ignite a desperately needed revitalization in antimicrobial development.” – Carlos del Rio, infectious disease physician, executive associate dean of Emory University at Grady Health System, a professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

“The Act addresses a key challenge faced by drug makers: a long, expensive drug development process combined with an uncertain return on investment for new drugs that, by definition, are to be used sparingly by a small number of patients if they are to confer the greatest public health benefit.” – John Packham, PhD, associate dean for the Office of Statewide Initiatives at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

“This legislation is crucial to addressing AMR concerns, promoting pharmaceutical innovation, and improving health outcomes. Given that the FDA only approved 15 antibiotics between 2010 and 2019, it’s clear we need drugmakers to feel secure in investing in research and development to counteract AMR. That’s why we’re encouraging our elected representatives in Congress to support this legislation…The PASTEUR Act will give us the new, effective, lifesaving antibiotics we need to continue working toward this goal.” – Dr. Patty Swiney, co-chair of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians Advocacy Committee, physician and owner of DirectCare Family Health in Paris, KY

“The legislation would create a system in which the government purchases a “subscription” from firms for access to new antibiotics, instead of paying per dose. In so doing, PASTEUR would pay for the value of these medicines rather than their volume, giving companies the return on investment they depend on to continue developing new antibiotics.” – Cynthia L. Sears, infectious diseases physician at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Fyza Yusuf Shaikh, oncologist and assistant professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

To learn more, visit PhRMA.org/AMR 

Topics: Antimicrobial Resistance