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This weekly column offers opinions on the latest pharmaceutical industry news.

Drug-resistant superbugs account for an estimated 700,000 deaths worldwide today, but that number could rise to 10 million within the next few decades unless new antibiotics are developed.

That’s according to a new report commissioned by the UK government, which is proposing a provocative solution to the problem: a 10-year, $40 billion global fund to provide incentives to develop new superbug-fighting drugs.

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Under the proposed scheme, any drug maker that comes up with a useful antibiotic could receive a reward of around $1 billion.

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  • Why in God’s name are we offering cash prizes to multi-billion dollar industries? Isn’t that already gilding the lily? The profit these companies receive from patents, and the patent policies that allow exclusive distribution already produce enough income. The only drugs I would support would be “orphan” drugs that address illnesses which are rare, or efforts to get drugs to indigent populations where they are not available (i.e. Appalachia, Native American reservations, etc)

  • Um, how about developing fast tests for people to know just what’s on the tables, bed rails, curtains, pillows, johnnies, trays, silverware and door knobs BEFORE they consent to walk into any medical environment.
    Informed consent?

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