Antibacterial drugs are a critical component of the nation’s public health armamentarium, and have saved millions of lives by preventing and treating a range of bacterial infections. However, antibacterial drug development has been hampered by challenges unique to the antibacterial drug market, which have stifled innovation and left patients and providers with fewer options to treat increasingly resistant infections. One consequence of the dwindling antibacterial drug pipeline has been a reduction in effective oral antibacterial drug treatment options, which are particularly important in the ambulatory and transitional care contexts. Recent proposals to re-invigorate the antibacterial pipeline are geared towards serious infections treated in the inpatient setting, which may lead to a greater focus on intravenous therapies. However, addressing both current and future needs in the infectious diseases space will require a balanced mix of both oral and parenteral antibacterial drugs.
In cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings held an expert workshop on November 20, 2014, to identify the most promising strategies to support oral antibacterial drug development. Participating stakeholders included experts from the drug development and health care industries, the clinical community, government, and academia. These stakeholders shared their insights on potential regulatory, scientific, and economic strategies to reinvigorate the oral antibacterial drug pipeline.
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