ASM Offers Endorsement of PASTEUR Act
ASM and partners issued the following letter to House and Senate leaders in support of S. 4760, the Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Upsurging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act. Introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA-3), and Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA-18), the PASTEUR Act would promote the development of new antibiotics and appropriate use of existing ones, helping to limit the increase and spread of resistant infections.
Dear Senators Bennet and Young,
cc:Representatives Doyle and Ferguson,
We, the undersigned organizations representing clinicians, researchers, public health, hospitals, patients and the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries, are committed to combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and write to express our support for S. 4760, the Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Upsurging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act, a bill that would promote antibiotic development and appropriate use.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 2.8 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and at least 35,000 die. Many modern medical advances, including cancer chemotherapy, organ and bone marrow transplants, other complex surgeries, and care of preterm infants and others with weakened immune systems, are all dependent upon the availability of safe and effective antibiotics. Further, estimates indicate that antibiotic resistance costs our health care system as much as $20 billion annually.
A strong antibiotic pipeline is a key component to preparedness for pandemics and other mass casualty events. As we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, secondary infections and antibiotic resistance can complicate our responses. In addition, high levels of antibiotic use, particularly earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, may have led to the development of additional resistance that has not yet even been detected, highlighting the need for stewardship programs and diagnostics to guide optimal antibiotic use.
It is extremely challenging for antibiotic developers to earn the return on investments necessary to sustain antibiotic innovation, in part because antibiotics must be used judiciously to preserve their effectiveness. Economic barriers have driven nearly all large pharmaceutical companies from antibiotic research and development and have left smaller companies struggling to stay in business.
The PASTEUR Act will establish a subscription program that would provide a predictable return on investments for critically needed new antibiotics through federal payments that are delinked from antibiotic sales and use. The bill will also incentivize the development of antibiotic and diagnostic stewardship guidelines to encourage appropriate use of antibiotics. Your bill also includes critical transition measures to stabilize the fragile antibiotic ecosystem in the near-term. In addition, your bill will also provide funds to hospitals to support antibiotic stewardship programs, which have been shown to be effective in improving patient outcomes, reducing inappropriate antibiotic use, limiting antibiotic resistance and lowering health care costs. Hospitals will be encouraged to report more data on antibiotic use and resistance to the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network in an effort to strengthen our national understanding of antibiotic resistance and evaluate our intervention. While no AMR policy solution is a panacea and a combination of reforms is needed, the PASTEUR Act is a very important step.
We thank you for your leadership in combating antibiotic resistance and look forward to working with you to strengthen and advance this important legislation.
American Association of Bovine Practitioners
American Society for Microbiology
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology
Association of Public Health Laboratories
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Duke Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention
Health Care Without Harm
Immune Deficiency Foundation
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Making-A-Difference in Infectious Diseases
Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition
National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Peggy Lillis Foundation
Small World Initiative
Social Innovation on Drug Resistance, Boston University
Society of Critical Care Medicine
Society of Hospital Medicine
Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists
The Antimicrobials Working Group (Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Cidara Therapeutics Inc., Entasis Therapeutics Inc., Iterum Therapeutics Ltd., Nabriva Therapeutics US Inc., Melinta Therapeutics, Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc., Qpex Biopharma Inc., SCYNEXIS Inc., Summit Therapeutics plc, Venatorx Pharmaceuticals Inc. and X-Biotix)
The Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center
The Gerontological Society of America
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
The Joint Commission
The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Stuart B. Levy Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance at Tufts