Antibiotics can help save lives. But that’s not nearly the full story.
Often considered the most powerful tool in healthcare, antibiotics are facing a major threat: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Superbugs, strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, are developing faster than new antibiotics1. Drug-resistant infections kill at least 700,000 people globally each year, a number that could increase to 10 million by 2050 if no action is taken.2
Despite the urgent need for antibiotics, there is limited funding for their development. It can be difficult for developers to recoup the investment because antibiotics are often used sparingly to preserve effectiveness. Without ongoing research and development, we may not have effective antibiotics when we need them. This is a seemingly hopeless catch-22, particularly as we increasingly recognize the threat of health challenges lacking treatments.
Yet, when it comes to antibiotic development, there is new hope. Teva and more than 20 other pharmaceutical companies are launching the AMR Action Fund that aims to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030. The Fund will invest $1 billion and provide expertise to help antibiotics through the development process. It will support smaller biotech companies in developing antibiotics to address the most pressing public health needs and establish partnerships to encourage governments to enable a sustainable antibiotic pipeline.
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We know our voice is critical in addressing AMR, as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of antibiotics. That is why:
We are raising awareness. Teva develops materials and tools to increase awareness and encourage appropriate antibiotic use.
We are collaborating. We serve on the board of AMR Industry Alliance, which brings together more than 100 biotech, diagnostics, generics and research-based pharmaceutical companies to drive progress. Teva is helping to develop and improve the AMR Industry Alliance’s Common Manufacturing Framework. We also published our Position on AMR, which includes our commitment, approach and aspirations.
We are helping to increase access. Teva has developed more than 35 generic antibiotics and antifungals, more than 20 of which target World Health Organization priority pathogens. We are also working with partners to ensure critical antibiotic and antifungal medicines reach those who need them.
Teva improved by 37% on the Access to Medicine Foundation 2020 AMR benchmark, the only independent comparison of pharmaceutical company efforts to bring AMR under control. Our Appropriate Access & Stewardship efforts to avoid use of sales agents to mitigate against overselling was recognized as a benchmark best practice.
We know AMR is an ongoing challenge—and we remain committed to identifying solutions. The time is now: we can get ahead of this crisis, and we can help save lives.
Read Teva’s Position on Antimicrobial Resistance and commitment to finding global solutions.
1 Harvard University, 2014. The Arms Race Between Germs and Medicine: How Superbugs Have Taken the Lead, and How Humans Can Take It Back. Available: http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/special-edition-on-infectious-disease/2014/the-arms-race-between-germs-and-medicine-how-superbugs-have-taken-the-lead-and-how-humans-can-take-it-back/ (accessed July, 2020).
2 World Health Organization (WHO), 2019. No time to wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections. Report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Available: https://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/interagency-coordination-group/IACG_final_report_EN.pdf?ua=1 (accessed July, 2020).