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After months of anticipation, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is reintroducing bills in the Senate and the House that supporters hope will jump-start the development of novel antibiotics to combat drug-resistant bacteria.

The legislation, called the PASTEUR Act, would provide upfront payments anywhere from $750 million to $3 billion to a drug developer in exchange for unlimited access to its antibiotic. The “subscription model” would enable drug companies to recover their investments in research and development and make an appropriate profit without having to sell large amounts of antibiotics to survive financially.


“The government will reimburse for the societal value, rather than the volume,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who co-sponsored the Senate version. “It’s basically a negotiated contract between the government and pharmaceutical companies to make the drug available to people that are covered by federal insurance programs … for free.”

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