Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Regulatory Strategies and Institutional Capacity

38 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2009

See all articles by William M. Sage

William M. Sage

University of Texas at Austin School of Law; University of Texas at Austin - Dell Medical School

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: July 19, 2009

Abstract

Amnesia is a common, important, but rarely noted side effect of antibiotics. Apart from medical historians, few recall the severe morbidity and mortality once associated with acute bacterial infection. However, decades of antibiotic overuse and misuse have compromised the long-term availability and efficacy of these life-saving therapies. If designed and implemented appropriately, regulation can reduce the risk of bacterial infection, reserve antibiotics for circumstances where they are necessary, and rationalize the use of the most powerful agents. Regulation of antibiotic resistance can be justified, and should be guided, by both efficiency and fairness. A range of regulatory options are available - some information-based, some incentive-based, some command-and-control - each of which has indications, strengths, and weaknesses. A desired set of regulatory strategies must then be matched with the appropriate legal and regulatory institutions. A renewed focus on regulatory and institutional design has significant potential to reduce antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and increase the effective life of existing and new antibiotics.

Keywords: Antibiotic, antimicrobial, resistance, regulatory theory, regulation

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Sage, William Matthew and Hyman, David A., Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Regulatory Strategies and Institutional Capacity (July 19, 2009). U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 154, U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE09-013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1436154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1436154

William Matthew Sage (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

University of Texas at Austin - Dell Medical School ( email )

Austin, TX 78712

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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