To fight superbugs we need to adapt like superbugs by sharing knowledge and resources to develop new antibiotics writes Carl Nathan in the New York Times.
Health officials in Minnesota say they’re stepping up their efforts to battle new antibiotic-resistant superbugs, reports Cathy Wurzer of MPR News. Multidrug-resistant organisms “are showing up in top-flight hospitals — like the klebsiella found in the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center this year, which may have led to the deaths of seven patients. Even infections that used to be a breeze to treat, like gonorrhea, are becoming incurable,” reports the New York Times.
Nathan argues the economic models of developing new antibiotics are stacked against teamwork but it is something that can be addressed.
“As Thomas Pogge of Yale and Aidan Hollis of the University of Calgary have pointed out, an intergovernmental fund for drug discovery could reward drug makers for products in proportion to their impact in reducing the loss of healthy years of life. The lower the cost of a lifesaving drug, the greater the number of people who could use it; the more lives protected, then, the greater the monetary reward. An investment of $20 billion a year could encourage more open-lab collaborations to find new medicines in challenging settings like antibiotic discovery and make them accessible to all who need them.”