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Combatting Antibiotic Resistance Together: How Can We Enlist the Help of Industry?

Edwards, Suzanne E.; Morel, Chantal M.; Busse, Reinhard; Harbarth, Stephan

The development of antibiotics needs to be supported through new financial stimuli, including help from the public sector. In exchange for public support, industry should be asked to do what is in their power to help curb the inappropriate use of antibiotics. This work discusses key areas through which industry has an important influence on antibiotic consumption and where agreements can be made alongside financial incentives, even those intended to stimulate very early research. As long as the traditional unit sale-based business model for antibiotics remains in place, profit-making incentives will likely undermine efforts to sell and utilize antibiotics in a sustainable manner. In the short-term, while we try to come to a consensus on how best to fix the market, we need measures to prevent major over-selling and inappropriate promotion—especially for new, badly needed antibiotics that reach the market. This paper explores ways in which the pharmaceutical industry could help buttress sustainable antibiotic use while we search for more long-term, constructive, mutually-beneficial ways to organize the market.
Published in: Antibiotics, 10.3390/antibiotics7040111, MDPI