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Opinion: Creating new antimicrobial drugs will require governments working with industry

We need innovative and effective market-based incentives, not state-run or publicly owned pharmaceutical companies, to create new drugs to fight the growing scourge of antimicrobial resistance.

As the number of infections resistant to antimicrobial drugs continues to rise around the world, and with it their huge human and financial toll, we urgently need new ways to preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics and to develop much-needed new ones.

Creating state-run or publicly owned pharmaceutical companies, an idea recently floated by British economist Jim O’Neill, isn’t the way to proceed.

Back in 2014, the British government asked O’Neil to propose concrete actions to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs. That work led to the 2016 publication of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, which called for the use of market entry rewards and an innovation fund to generate more drugs.

Yet nearly three years later, O’Neill is criticizing the biopharmaceutical industry for failing to respond to this global

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