Groups urging need for revitalizing antimicrobial development call for passage of the bill this year
April 27, 2023 (Washington, D.C.) Today, five prominent national organizations — the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease, and The Pew Charitable Trusts — issued the following statement in response to the reintroduction of the Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions To End Up surging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act:
The reintroduction of the bipartisan PASTEUR Act by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate is a critical step forward to address the antimicrobial resistance crisis that threatens the public health and U.S. national security and preparedness. We applaud the efforts of Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Todd Young (R-IN) and Representatives Drew Ferguson (R-GA) and Scott Peters (D-CA) to keep this vital issue a key priority for congressional action this year.
Initially introduced in the 116th Congress, PASTEUR has gained broad, bipartisan support because of its balanced approach to catalyze the development of urgently needed antibiotics and antifungals while also supporting appropriate use of existing medications, which is key to preserving their efficacy and slowing the spread of dangerous, drug-resistant superbugs. Before the end of the last Congress, the bill had the support of more than 70 House and Senate co-sponsors. Earlier this year, President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s administration urged Congress to pass this type of policy, while more than 230 organizations representing health care providers, public health professionals, scientists, patients, and the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries joined in a letter to congressional leaders calling for the passage of PASTEUR as soon as possible.
Antimicrobial resistance is not a partisan issue. It is an increasingly challenging public health emergency that reverberates far beyond just health care settings. Every 15 minutes, a person in the United States dies from an infection resistant to treatment with existing antimicrobial drugs. This means that since PASTEUR’s last introduction on June 16, 2021, more than 64,000 Americans have died because they did not have adequate medications to treat their infections.
Drug-resistant infections can happen because of a scrape on a playground, the birth of a child, an organ transplant, or simply standing in line at the grocery store. The pervasive nature of multi-drug resistant superbugs, combined with the chronically broken pipeline of urgently needed new drugs, underscores the grim reality that we cannot wait any longer to pass the PASTEUR Act.
Our organizations thank Sens. Bennet and Young and Reps. Ferguson and Peters for reintroducing the PASTEUR Act and urge Congress to pass the bill immediately.