Bipartisan bill aims to create subscription-style model for bigger antibiotic market

Two senators recently introduced a bill that would establish a subscription-style payment model to expand the antibiotic market.

Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Todd Young, R-Ind., introduced the Pasteur Act, which would create a subscription-style model that gives drugmakers upfront payments in exchange for unfettered access to their antibiotic supply. 

The bill was drafted to grow the antibiotic market by offering drugmakers incentives. Pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to expand the antibiotic space because the drugs are usually most effective when taken only for a short amount of time, but the new legislation would allow drugmakers to make a sufficient profit without having to sell large quantities of antibiotics.

In their bill, the senators write that the subscription contracts will range from $750 million to $3 billion and be paid over 10 years or via patent exclusivity. They also outline that the contracts would require antibiotics to be available for free to patients with state health insurance, support appropriate use so the risk of antibiotic resistance is reduced, track resistance data and conduct post-marketing studies. 

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