The Infectious Diseases Society of America welcomes today’s announcement from the World Health Organization of its “priority pathogens” list to guide and promote antibiotic research and development. We call upon United States policy makers and international leaders to commit the resources necessary to realize the goals of this list.
We are pleased to see that WHO identified three carbapenem-resistant pathogens (Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae) that IDSA recommended as the highest priorities, and agree the list largely reflects the areas of greatest unmet needs, with remaining treatment options and pipeline drugs as key criteria for prioritization. We also appreciate the One Health approach this list reflects.
IDSA has been leading a campaign to incentivize urgently needed antibiotic research and development, and has experienced policy success—most recently the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which included the Limited Population Antibacterial Drug approval pathway to help speed the most critically needed new antibiotics to market. While that pathway will address key regulatory barriers to antibiotic R&D, the cost of antibiotic development and the limited economic returns they provide represent significant persisting barriers to the work ahead.. Congress must enact incentives for antibiotic research and development that include tax credits and provide robust funding for federal agencies working on antibiotic research and development, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the Department of Defense.
Finally, while the development of new antibiotics is essential, it is not sufficient alone to effectively combat antimicrobial resistance. We look forward to continued One Health efforts with our US and international partners, including WHO, on antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention, improved surveillance, diagnostics & vaccines R&D, and investment in the infectious diseases workforce.
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