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Despite the recent declaration of commitment to combat superbugs by nearly 80 pharmaceutical companies at this year's World Economic Forum, increased international collaboration and further financial incentives are required to fight the mounting threat posed by multidrug-resistant microbes, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
According to Mr Mirco Junker, GlobalData's Analyst covering Infectious Diseases, the current economic framework has stifled innovative research and development (R&D) approaches in this field, and has led to major pharmaceutical companies retreating from developing novel antimicrobials. However, the recent declaration will allow for innovative and collaborative approaches that would otherwise be considered economically unfeasible.
Dr Junker comments: "There are various ways this may be countered so that the new declaration may be fulfilled, such as uptake-independent payments or prolonged protection from generic erosion for developers.
"Moreover, the development of vaccines against infectious diseases that are currently only being treated with antimicrobials could be encouraged by the guarantee of reimbursement once the vaccine qualifies under predetermined conditions."
GlobalData believes that another approach could be to incentivise the industry without directly paying companies for their R&D, by improving the funding of supranational collaborations between for-profit and non-profit organizations.