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Encouraging the Development of New Antibiotics: Are Financial Incentives the Right Way Forward? A Systematic Review and Case Study

Authors Dutescu IA, Hillier SA

Received 24 October 2020

Accepted for publication 25 December 2020

Published 5 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 415—434


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Ilinca A Dutescu, Sean A Hillier

School of Health Policy & Management, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence: Ilinca A Dutescu
York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON, M3J 1P3, Canada
Tel +1 647-886-9829

Abstract: Antibiotic resistance is an urgent public health threat that has received substantial attention from the world’s leading health agencies and national governmental bodies alike. However, despite increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to develop new antibiotics due to scientific, regulatory, and financial barriers. Nonetheless, only a handful of countries have addressed this by implementing or proposing financial incentive models to promote antibiotic innovation. This study is comprised of a systematic review that aimed to understand which antibiotic incentive strategies are most recommended within the literature and subsequently analyzed these incentives to determine which are most likely to sustainably revitalize the antibiotic pipeline. Through a case study of Canada, we apply our incentive analysis to the Canadian landscape to provide decision-makers with a possible path forward. Based on our findings, we propose that Canada support the ongoing efforts of other countries by implementing a fully delinked subscription-based market entry reward. This paper seeks to spark action in Canada by shifting the national paradigm to one where antibiotic research and development is prioritized as a key element to addressing antibiotic resistance.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, antibiotics, health policy, financial incentives, Canada

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