Resistant bacteria, viruses and fungi are the next pandemic. Yet, we're not developing new treatments because the antimicrobials market is broken. The PASTEUR Act can fix it.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites mutate and no longer respond to these existing medicines. As a result, treating common infections becomes harder, or in some cases impossible, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
Since their discovery, we have been irresponsible with these life saving drugs. American healthcare is rife with the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials, which has sped up resistance while also contributing to an epidemic of diseases, including Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). There are more than 500,000 CDI cases annually in the US and more than 29,000 Americans die. Despite that, it has been over a decade since a new antimicrobial has been available for this disease.
The AMR crisis has been further exacerbated by a lack of new drug development by the pharmaceutical industry due to reduced economic incentives and challenging regulatory requirements. In recent years, many of the innovative antibiotic companies working to develop new antimicrobials have filed for bankruptcy and stopped producing these critical drugs completely. That’s why we need the PASTEUR Act.
The Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions To End Upsurging Resistance (or PASTEUR) Act seeks to fix this broken market and improve public health by keeping new antibiotics on the market and improving stewardship across the health care system. While current reimbursement between the government and drug makers base payment on volume, the PASTEUR Act would establish a subscription style model which would offer antibiotic developers an upfront payment in exchange for access to their antibiotics, encouraging innovation and ensuring our healthcare system is prepared to treat resistant infections.
This legislation is vital to the wellbeing of our families, the maintenance of our healthcare system and our global health. Please ask your legislators to become co-sponsors today.
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