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Media - published on 21 Jan 2020

In Superbug War, Reliance on Just a Few Drugmakers Fuels Concern

Writing for Bloomberg, James Paton describes the latest findings of the 2020 Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark, highlighting the supply of life-saving antibiotics is now increasingly reliant on just a handful of companies. 

The author outlines today's fragile antibiotic market since the publication of the first Benchmark in 2018.  Major changes in the market landscape for antibacterials have occurred: 

Two major players, Novartis AG and Sanofi, have retreated from antibiotic research as the pharma industry shifts toward lucrative areas such as cancer. And two smaller drug developers, Achaogen Inc. and Melinta Therapeutics, have filed for bankruptcy.

The article also describes that while changes are happening, progress can be seen with some drug companies boosting efforts to discourage the overselling of existing antibiotics and sharing more data on where drug resistance is emerging.

It concludes with a quote from Jayasree K Iyer, Executive Director of the Access to Medicine Foundation, in response to the failing market:

"This is not a situation where you need a scientific miracle - you need an economic solution."

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