Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance

Bacterial resistance is developing quickly and many critically important drugs risk becoming obsolete, warned the World Health Organization (WHO) in April 2014.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as a major threat for public health worldwide, owing to ineffective use of antibiotics due to increasing patients’ demand, lack of quality medicines, dearth of infection prevention & control programmes etc. AMR is affecting the utility of modern medicine, in turn impacting companies’ revenues. The problem of AMR is not just limited to a few countries but is prevalent across the globe. In April 2015, WHO published a survey report, which revealed that efforts to contain AMR are underway in several countries, but challenges remain because of the widespread gaps in actions taken.

Antibiotics are an invaluable resource for the global populace and they ought to be developed and managed on a sustainable basis. There is an urgent need to fight resistance by developing new business models for sustainable antibiotics. Producing new drugs that create short-term benefits will not suffice. There has to be a method to ensure these drugs sustain and achieve longterm success in prevention and cure of diseases.

Companies need to move beyond the predominant business model of recovering their R&D investments through sales revenues. Tackling the challenge of AMR through antibiotic delinkage models is a viable option for companies while addressing the public health needs in an effective manner.

Under the delinkage model, governments encourage and incentivise manufacturing companies to invest in R&D to put new products on the market at the right time, safeguard antibiotics from overuse and premature resistance, and also to make effective antibiotics accessible to people across the globe. An effective delinkage model would result in increased revenues for companies as the focus would be on value delivered rather than volume of drugs sold.

In the cover story by Karl Rotthier, President of DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, talks about how producers are using outdated technologies to manufacture their APIs in combination with poorly managed waste streams, which is leading to unnecessary and harmful disposal of antibiotic residues into the environment contributing to AMR. He emphasises on the need to protect reputation and brands through developing sustainable supply chains and implementing stringent measures that enhance production and quality standards. Karl also talks about tackling the challenge of supply chain security in the face of antibiotic resistance.

-- Issue 22 --

Prasanthi Potluri

Prasanthi Potluri