Rules and Tools in the Battle Against Superbugs - A Call for Integrated Strategies and Enhanced International Collaboration to Promote Antimicrobial Drug Development
Forthcoming in Infectious Diseases in the New Millennium: Legal and Ethical Challenges, Mark Eccleston-Turner (ed) (Springer, June, 2020).
23 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018 Last revised: 17 Mar 2020
Date Written: January 8, 2018
The lack of treatments during the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks dramatically exposed the vulnerability of the global health system and the dire consequences thereof. But even where therapies against infectious diseases had been available, an additional threat has gained world-wide attention: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A growing number of microbial organisms are becoming resistant to available drugs with increasingly diverse risks for a rapid global spreading of infections. Unfortunately, the traditional intellectual property (IP) based innovation system and regulatory frameworks do not provide sufficient incentives to invest in the development of new antimicrobials. Hence, there are few new treatments in the pipeline to replace a growing number of ineffective drugs or problematic drug combinations. Repairing these broken economic incentives, improving access to and sustaining the effectiveness of antimicrobials is among the most important challenges in the health and life sciences. In this paper we emphasize that this goal can only be achieved through integrated strategies and a better global coordination of interdisciplinary multi-sector responses.
Keywords: Sustainable Incentives, Regulation, IPRs, Antimicrobials, Antibiotics, AM Resistance
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