The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations IFPMA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations EFPIA and the German Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies vfa organised an online event to launch the AMR Action Fund. The public-private partnership of governments, philanthropists and industry agreed to tackle antimicrobial resistance in order to bridge the gap until a sustainable solution is found.
Antibiotic-resistant infections have become a major neglected public health threat because they affect the healthcare, veterinary, and agriculture industries and face at the same time missing investments in the development of novel antibiotics. Based on the global priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery, and development of new antibiotics, a scientific board of experts will advise on the allocation of approximately US$1 billion with the aim to enable the market access of 2-4 antibiotics by 2030.
Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck KGaA, highlighted the importance of bridging the financial gap of startup companies involved in antibiotic development. New antibiotics that are intended to be carefully used by physicians will not generate promising revenues. At the same time, they will need to be available as a last resort. Mr Oschmann offered to work together with different stakeholders, including patient organisations, to create a new incentive system that will address the topic.
Jens Spahn, Federal Minister of Health in Germany, highlighted the existing policy papers, including the National Antibiotic Resistance Strategy DART 2020 that followed the Global Action Plan endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2015. He insisted on the importance of better coordination in the European Union and internationally to avoid duplication and welcomed concrete contributions to pursue quick action.
AMR is certainly a long-discussed topic. However, although the priority list needs an update and the inclusion of other pathogens, this initiative could be an important step from policy to action.
Stefan Oschmann. Source: ifpma.org
Jens Spahn. Source: ifpma.org