As public health officials continue to lament a dearth of antibiotics, a new report finds some drug makers are making strides in developing medicines to combat superbugs, but that the pharmaceutical industry, in general, needs to do more.

Overall, more companies are addressing R&D priorities, particularly the development of new antimicrobial drugs, but remain less active in bolstering manufacturing or sufficiently widening access, according to the report from the Access to Medicines Foundation, a non-profit based in the Netherlands, that regularly compiles indices to rank the progress made by drug companies on various matters.

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  • I urge relevant governmental agencies to do more as well.
    1. Incentivize development of new antibiotics — there returns in antibiotics simply aren’t there relative to many other areas. Pharma companies are for-profit entities. We shame if they aren’t producing, shame if they price to provide a worthy return on investment (especially when new antibiotics are unlikely to be widely used until well after they lose patent). We act like they are public health entities, but that’s just not the case
    2. Crack down on agricultural use of antibiotics to stimulate growth and/or prevent illnesses rather than treating
    3. Crack down on prescribing antibiotics for non-bacterial infections

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