Roskam, Davis call for increased access to antibiotics
Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Danny Davis (D-Ill.) recently responded to the introduction of H.R. 512, the Developing an Innovative Strategy for Antimicrobial Resistant Microorganisms (DISARM) Act.
The DISARM Act aims to address the critical shortage of advanced antibiotics that can treat resistant infections.
“In every corner of the world, drug-resistant infections have skyrocketed and yet the development of new antibiotics has steadily decreased over the past 20 years,” Roskam said. “These superbugs threaten modern medicine as we know it. Not only could a common scrape become infected with a strain of drug-resistant bacteria and turn potentially deadly, but advanced procedures that rely on antibiotics to avoid infection — from chemotherapy to open heart surgery — could become too risky to even perform. I am proud to introduce the DISARM Act and continue working to prevent the next public health crisis.”
DISARM, which would modernize how the healthcare system views antibiotics, would reinvigorate the drug development pipeline while ensuring a functioning antibiotic market.
Medicare currently reimburses hospitals for the use of only the inexpensive, everyday antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin and azithromycin, that can cost as little as $10. More powerful antibiotics that can cost hundreds of dollars are not covered, which makes such treatments less likely to be used as hospitals are only compensated for a fraction of their price.
“This is an epidemic — with costs far exceeding the public and commercial investment in developing new antimicrobial products — and it is occurring each and every year, in each and every community and hospital,” Executive Director of the Antimicrobial Innovation Alliance Barrett Thornhill said. “It is critical that we refocus our efforts on developing new treatment options to eradicate resistant pathogens. DISARM is a step in the right direction and will further incentivize innovation in the antimicrobial space.”