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Antimicrobial Resistance: What’s At Stake and What Are We Doing About It?

Health Affairs Forefront recently published insight from their short series, “Prescription Drugs: Promoting Affordability and Innovation,” a conference hosted by Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law.

Rena Conti

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March 4, 2022

Health Affairs Forefront recently published insight from their short series, “Prescription Drugs: Promoting Affordability and Innovation,” a conference hosted by Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, and Law.

The conference focused on a research and policy agenda to support both drug affordability and innovation, discussing topics related to drug development, access, and efficacy. The article details the importance of addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), explaining that this resistance occurs when microorganisms undergo changes that render medicines used to treat them ineffective, leaving patients vulnerable to illness or death. In order to treat patients with resistance infections, physicians need new drugs while also preserving the effectiveness of existing antibiotics.

The article elaborates on the challenges that AMR presents to pharmaceutical companies engaging in new drug development. In this series, the authors discuss why recent initiatives to develop new antibacterials have not been successful. It is argued that current initiatives focused on push and pull incentives as well as developing global partnerships across governments and commercial entities hold great promise for addressing AMR.

Rena M. Conti is an Associate Professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. From 2006 through June 2018, Professor Conti was an Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Chicago Medical School and the Harris School of Public Policy. She is a health economist and her research focuses on the organization, financing and regulation of medical care. She has written extensively on the pricing, demand and supply of prescription drugs.