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Pharma Leaders Issue Joint Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance

White Blood Cells Interacting with MRSAMore than 90 leading international pharmaceutical, generics, diagnostics and biotechnology companies, as well as key industry bodies, have come together to call on governments and industry to work in parallel in taking comprehensive action against drug-resistant infections – so-called ‘superbugs’ – with a joint declaration launched today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Declaration on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance represents a joint blueprint from commercial drug and diagnostic developers describing a common set of principles for global action to support antibiotic conservation and the development of new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines.

The industry is calling on governments around the world to now go beyond existing statements of intent and take concrete action, in collaboration with companies, to support the fight against drug-resistant infections.

In particular, the Declaration supports a continuation of efforts towards:

  • Improved conservation of antibiotics
  • Improved uptake of rapid point-of-care diagnostics
  • Improvements in how antibiotics are prescribed
  • Changes to incentive structures directly reward doctors, pharmacists and veterinarians for prescribing antibiotics in greater volumes

The signatory companies called on governments to work with them to develop new and alternative market structures that provide more dependable and sustainable market models for antibiotics, and to commit the funds needed to implement them. These include mechanisms to ensure that, where appropriate, the pricing of antibiotics more adequately reflects the benefits they bring; and novel payment models that reduce the link between the profitability of an antibiotic and the volume sold.

“Antibiotic resistance is an urgent public health issue requiring a comprehensive, global approach. Assuring availability and proper use of effective antibiotics are shared responsibilities and we fully embrace the principles outlined in this declaration,” commented Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive, Merck & Co., Inc.

As well as calling for continued progress by governments, the Declaration sets out a commitment to further action on drug resistance by its signatory companies:

  • Encouraging better and more appropriate use of new and existing antibiotics
  • Improved education of clinicians
  • More judicious use of antibiotics in livestock
  • Increase R&D investment into new antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines and other alternative treatments
  • Extension of collaborative initiatives between industry, academia and public bodies to improve how R&D in the field is done
  • Provide greater opportunities to overcome scientific barriers to antibiotic discovery
  • Ensuring affordable access to high-quality antibiotics in all parts of the world

By bringing together such a wide range of companies in this unprecedented way, the Declaration aims to provides a valuable roadmap to guide further collaborative efforts between industry, governments and NGOs in the global fightback against antimicrobial resistance.

“Finding solutions to meet this major challenge requires full participation of private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, regulatory organizations and payers. It will be challenging as antibiotic stewardship must be improved and discovery of new treatments has been elusive,” noted Dr. Olivier Brandicourt, Chief Executive of Sanofi S.A. “Although sustainable business models remain to be found, we are up for the challenge. Together I believe we can overcome these hurdles and Sanofi is fully committed to this global effort.”

The Declaration will be updated every two years, to take account of the evolving global landscape and changing challenges and priorities. It remains open to accept new signatory companies and bodies at any time, with a complete list maintained on the Review on AMR’s website, www.amr-review.org/industry-declaration.

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