The Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) represents a major milestone in the global response to the rising threat of drug resistance with commercial drug and diagnostic developers for the first time agreeing on a common set of principles. One year on, the IFMPA sets out 7 key principles to incentivize the development of new antibiotics & vaccines.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a current and growing threat. Last week's news story of the death of a woman in the USA who was resistant to all antibiotics is an unwelcome reminder that we can't pause in our work to tackle the rise of drug-resistant infections. Don't be fooled, we are in an arms race with the bugs these medicines treat – and right now the bugs are winning. Their ability to evolve resistance to these medicines will always be an issue. That's why we need a sustainable pipeline of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and adjunctive therapies to treat and prevent infections.
This week the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) published their policy position on "Sustainable models to overcome the challenging economics of antimicrobial R&D". The paper outlines a series of incentives and criteria for the development of a new economic model that would help foster a fertile environment for R&D into the next generation of antimicrobial medicines.
The paper calls for government action "to urgently address the economic barriers to antimicrobial R&D… through the implementation of a robust "pull" mechanism". It also urges "UN and Member States to continue and expand the formal collaboration between government, industry and other stakeholders to combat AMR by including the pharmaceutical industry in the mechanism to follow up on the commitments made in the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on AMR."
The pharmaceutical industry is committed to playing its part in tackling AMR. One year ago, commercial drug and diagnostic developers launched the 'Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance' at Davos. This represented a major milestone by agreeing a shared set of commitments to tackle AMR. This was quickly followed by 'The Roadmap for Progress on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance' in the Autumn focused on four key areas for companies to address including:
However, the Declaration also called for collective action to create a sustainable and predictable market for antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics that enhances conservation for new and existing treatments. So how do we address this? We know that current economic models and market forces for rewarding R&D into antibiotics don't work. The IFPMA calls for "multiple incentives…across the development lifecycle of novel antibiotics and vaccines to stimulate R&D investment and address the lack of financial return for these products."
The sector needs a new economic model and this paper outlines some different financial incentives that could be explored by governments. This won't be a 'one-size-fits-all' solution but should be developed in more detail on a country-by-country basis. Here in the UK, the ABPI and our members are already working alongside policymakers to explore a 'de-linked' model to reimburse new antibiotics.
The Policy Position on 'Sustainable models to overcome the challenging economics of antimicrobial R&D' from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) is available to view online.
To learn more about the Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), visit the IFPMA website.