Effective antibacterials: at what cost? The economics of antibacterial resistance and its control

Anthony R White, BSAC Working Party on The Urgent Need: Regenerating Antibacterial Drug Discovery and Development, Laura Piddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The original and successful business model of return on investment being sufficiently attractive to the pharmaceutical industry to encourage development of new antibacterial molecules and related diagnostics has been compromised by increasing development costs and regulatory hurdles, resulting in a decreasing chance of success and financial return. The supply of new effective agents is diminishing along with the number of companies engaged in antibacterial research and development. The BSAC Working Party on The Urgent Need:Regenerating Antibacterial Drug Discovery and Development identified the need to establish, communicate and apply the true health and economic value of antibacterials, along with the adoption of meaningful incentives, as part of the future model for antibacterial development. Robust data are needed on the cost of resistance and ineffective treatment of bacterial infection, along with national and local holistic analyses of the cost-benefit of antibacterials. An understanding of the true health and economic value of antibacterials and the cost of resistance across healthcare systems needs to be generated, communicated and used in order to set a pricing and reimbursement structure that is commensurate with value. The development and economic model of antibacterial use needs to be rebuilt based on this value through dialogue with the various stakeholders, including the pharmaceutical industry, and alternative incentives from 'push' to 'pull' and funding models, such as public/private partnerships, agreed. A research and development model that succeeds in developing and delivering new antibacterial agents that address the health needs of society from start to finish, 'from cradle to grave', must be established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1948-53
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Discovery
  • Drug Industry
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective antibacterials: at what cost? The economics of antibacterial resistance and its control'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this