Antibiotics as neglected medicines

On the frequently interesting E-drug listserve last week, the moderator asked whether antibiotics are neglected essential medicines and reports on GSK’s new campaign to ask for higher reimbursement prices for antibiotics. (Bioworld article here, via e-drug)

We have substantial evidence that antibiotics are indeed too cheap – that the private value is far less than the social value (shorter Health Affairs version here; much longer Yale J Health Policy Law & Ethics version here).

The most important proviso – any new incentives must be conditioned on companies meeting antibiotic conservation targets.  Otherwise, we are just boosting incentives to quickly exhaust a precious resource. Unlike all other intellectual property, antibiotic IP is exhaustible.  Unlike every other drug class in history, for anti-infectives we want carefully sequenced innovation.

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