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Superbugs: Policy Solutions To Tackle an Emerging Health Threat

Some infections have no effective treatment. We need to support a robust pipeline of novel antimicrobials to stop these “superbugs.”

What is the superbug crisis?
Superbugs are bacteria or fungi that are resistant to antibiotics and other treatments, a characteristic known as antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. A study by the Global Research on Antimicrobial Resistance Project found that drug-resistant bacterial infections killed more than 1.2 million people and were associated with 4.95 million deaths worldwide in 2019.1

The superbug threat
In a recent virtual event, Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) explained why AMR is emerging as a global health threat.

In a 2022 special report on the impact of COVID-19 on AMR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that prevention is the most foundational and successful tool we have to protect from evolving pathogens.2

What Congress can do about this threat
The government needs to incentivize researchers to develop new antimicrobial treatments for infections that have an unmet medical need, anticipated clinical need, or drug resistance. Proposals like the PASTEUR Act (S. 2076, H.R. 3932), introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sen. Todd Young, could be the best line of defense against the emerging AMR threat.

The PASTEUR Act would increase resources for antibiotic stewardship programs and establish a subscription-style model for the government to pay upfront for access to antimicrobials.1

Patrick Holmes, Pfizer’s Science and Innovation Policy Team lead, explains the importance of this legislation:

The full story
Watch the full CQ Roll Call discussion, “Superbugs: Policy Solutions to Tackle an Emerging Health Threat,” below to hear more from senators and industry leaders about the threat of AMR and ways to advance a robust pipeline of novel antimicrobial medicines to keep pace with evolving pathogens.

Join Pfizer’s Ready for Cures
Want to stay up to date on this topic? Sign up below to join Pfizer’s Ready for Cures community to learn about smart policies that can help increase patient access while also supporting medical innovation.

Ready for Cures is a Pfizer initiative that is dedicated to improving access to life-saving medicines and fostering a public policy environment that supports healthcare innovation. “Ready for Cures” reflects the growing sentiment that policy challenges across the healthcare system are stifling the full potential of today’s scientific breakthroughs and that Americans are truly ready for cures.