Thursday, December 10, 2020

House Introduces PASTEUR Act for Antibiotic Innovation; Follow-up to Senate Bill in September

\In September 2020, Senators Bennet and Young introduced the PASTEUR Act to promote antibiotic innovation.  See favorable discussion at Pew Foundation here, from IDSA here.  

Now, in December, in the House, Doyle and Ferguson introduce the sister bill - here.

There have been several bills to help ameliorate the crisis in new antibiotics development.  The DISARM bill would provide payment for fee for service patients outside the DRG - a helpful but relatively limited response to a national problem for all patients.  The PASTEUR Act  (also here) would set up essentially a trust fund to buy large amounts of novel next-generation antibiotics.  It also has some requirements around use of diagnostics and use of antibiotic stewardship.  

One concern with novel antibiotics for special purpose is that they may be used so rarely for obscure "killer bacteria" that the manufacturers go under, or such that investment is not made in the first place.  A large private-public investment partnership, CARB-X, funds antibiotic development, as does BARDA.  There is a federal panel for policy on antibiotic resistance (PAC-CARB) and in October 2020, HHS released a new five-year plan for antibiotic resistance policy and actions.

For a few articles on the antibiotics innovation crisis, see PBS here, Nature here, MedCity here.