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The Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance: Marrying New Financial Incentives To Meeting Public Health Goals

Fighting Antibiotic Resistance: Marrying New Financial Incentives To Meeting Public Health Goals

The Question

How can financial incentives be leveraged to increase antibiotic effectiveness?

What we found

The current health care system fails to address the problem of antibiotic resistance by allowing inappropriate and excessive use of existing drugs and neglecting to encourage new antibiotic development.  Financial incentives are needed to both promote antibiotic conservation and spur pharmaceutical investment.  One such mechanism could be the establishment of “effectiveness targets” for new antibiotics, which tie financial rewards, such as increased patent terms, to meeting goals for limiting resistance.

Why it matters

Antibiotic resistance continues to evolve at an alarming pace due to current practices.  New drugs are needed to fight resistnat infections, but we must recognize that the effectiveness of these drugs is a limited resource.  Innovative financial incentives should focus on tying financial rewards to antibiotic stewardship.