Extending the Cure: Policy Responses to the Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistance

Resources for the Future | March 22, 2007

Research Area: Antibiotic Resistance | Region: North America
Type: Report | Hot Topic(s): MRSA; HAIs
The Question

How can we extend the effectiveness of antibiotics as a treatment for infection?

What We Found

In this report, we examine the problem of antibiotic resistance from a natural resources perspective and propose solutions from an incentive-based perspective. Our purpose is to evaluate policy options that will enable society to make the best use of existing antibiotics, sensibly encourage the discovery of new antibiotics, and give drug companies a greater incentive to sell these new drugs responsibly.

Why It Matters

The barriers to addressing the problem of antibiotic resistance all involve conflict between the interest of individual decisionmakers and the interest of society as a whole, now and in the future. Incentive-based policy solutions can help patients, physicians, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies consider the impact of their decisions on others and give them the opportunity to help the solution evolve.