November 17, 2021, Berlin – Ahead of the “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week” (November 18-24) 20 national and international organizations from academia, healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry appealed today to G7 governments to step up efforts to tackle the problem of growing antibiotic resistance. In a joint statement, they stress that only an approach involving both the public and private sectors can succeed in revitalizing the antibiotic clinical pipeline by rewarding innovation.
They emphasize that it is important to ensure that:
- new economic incentives are implemented that sufficiently reward successful development of new antibiotics,
- new antibiotics against hard-to-treat pathogens reach patients quickly,
- the potential of vaccines to reduce the risk of bacterial infections is fully leveraged, and
- antibiotics of today and of the future are used even more rationally.
In 2022, during its G7 presidency, Germany must play a leading role in engaging effectively within the global framework of anti-microbial resistance-related measures that address R&D, market access, as well as effective antibiotic stewardship. Similarly, Germany should take the opportunity to ensure that solutions continue to be worked toward under the subsequent Japanese G7 presidency in 2023.
Necessary activities: incentives for R&D and reimbursement for new antibiotics
As antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a multifaceted challenge, the signatories of the joint statement see the need for different measures that are adapted to the health systems of individual countries.
In order to strengthen the clinical antibiotics pipeline, new economic incentives are needed that provide economic rewards for successfully developed antibiotics against bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. In contrast, the current funding support for antibiotics research focuses mostly on early stages of the development process (push funding), failing to address the costly clinical development that follows, and the general market challenges associated with new antibiotics – causing a struggle for survival even for companies that have successfully launched one.
In Europe, access to new antibiotics for patients in need is often hampered by the lack of adequate coverage by health insurance or public health care. In Germany for example, the current reimbursement system for antibiotics in a hospital setting needs to be reassessed.
The research, medical and pharmaceutical organizations signatories of the joint statement:
The “Joint Statement” was signed by groups involved in R&D, healthcare delivery, public health dialogue, global health, investor funds, patient organizations, biotech and innovative biopharmaceutical companies: AMR Action Fund, AMR Industry Alliance, BAG Selbsthilfe, Bundesverband der Arzneimittelhersteller (BAH), BEAM Alliance, Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI), Bundesverband der Pharmazeutischen Industrie (BPI), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hämatologie und Medizinische Onkologie (DGHO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Infektiologie (dgi), German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP), German Health Alliance, Global AMR R&D Hub, Helmholtz Gemeinschaft deutscher Forschungszentren, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Paul-Ehrlich-Gesellschaft für Chemotherapie (PEG), Prof. Dr. Detlev Ganten, Sepsis Stiftung, Verband der forschenden Pharma-Unternehmen (vfa), World Health Summit.
- The “Joint Statement” can be found at: https://tinyurl.com/43bk27kj
- Information on the “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week” (Nov. 18-24, 2021) is provided by: https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/11/18/default-calendar/world-antimicrobial-awareness-week-2021