Americans need antibiotics that work. Lawmakers could help.


With Lauren Gardner

WILL CONGRESS ACT TO STOP OVER BAGGAGE? – Around 2006, a San Francisco-based biotech company called Achaogen came to the attention of federal health officials. He was developing an antibiotic that could be used to fight drug-resistant blood infections, among other conditions. The government invested some $225 million in the company and helped push the drug through FDA approval in 2018.

Then, in 2019, Achaogen went bankrupt following dismal sales of the drug — an all-too-common scenario in the world of small drugmakers trying to deliver powerful new antibiotics to patients.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed legislation to fix the broken antibiotic market, but a classic congressional year-end quagmire — a tight schedule, a rocky election season, spending struggles and inertia — threatens his progress, Lauren and Krista report.

The law project: The PASTEUR law would create a “subscription” model for antimicrobial drugs that decouples payments to pharmaceutical companies from the amount of drugs they sell, helping them survive financially and safeguarding powerful new drugs against infections that don’t respond to no other medication.

Challenges : If lawmakers miss the moment, the bill will be pushed to the next Congress where it could lose momentum, leaving the country unprepared for a growing problem that is already killing some 50,000 Americans and costing the US healthcare system billions of dollars. dollars every year.

“We’re at this tipping point right now where we get or don’t get this year in this Congress,” said Aleks Engel, director of the REPAIR Impact Fund at investment firm Novo Holdings, at the recent World Resistance Congress. antimicrobial. . “If the Republicans take over in January, I think there is a risk that they will not prioritize [it]and then it will take time.

WELCOME TO MONDAY PULSE – Almost 12,000 people have weighed in on this issue from the FAA: airplane seats grow, with the bodies of Americans? Let us know what you think — and send that news and advice — to [email protected] and [email protected].

WANT MORE PULSE? Today on our Pulse Check podcast, Krista and Alice Miranda Ollstein on the Congressional War on Superbugs. Plus, Ruth Reader on four consecutive trends that will further affect healthcare. Listen to today’s Pulse Check podcast.

CDC warns of CO poisoning — The CDC has published a health alert over the weekend, reminding doctors to look for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning after Hurricane Ian, when people who lost power can use generators, camping stoves, propane barbecues or charcoal or cars for electricity.

The death toll from the storm rose to nearly 80 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba as of Sunday evening.

MONKEYPOX PERMANENT…FOR NOW — In the new CDC technical report on the monkeypox outbreak, the agency reiterated that the virus may continue to transmit at a low level for the foreseeable future.

“Domestic transmission in the United States is unlikely to be eliminated in the near future,” the report’s authors wrote.

He laid out a few scenarios of how things might go in the long term:

Most likely : Most likely, the outbreak will remain concentrated among men who have sex with men, with cases slowing and then decreasing significantly over the next few months as low-level transmission may continue indefinitely.

Feasible, but less likely: The virus will be entirely eliminated from the United States, cases will accelerate and spread to the general population or the virus will establish itself in an animal population, as it has done in parts of Africa where it continues to pass between humans and animals.

why it matters: The agency did not recall its long-term assessment even though national daily cases have fallen since the publication of its last technical report. (This is also consistent with what epidemiologists have told us.)

In other words, things are definitely better, but too many factors are unknown to declare an early victory, including whether the virus spreads without symptoms or mutates, the effectiveness and duration of the vaccine, and whether fatigue vaccination keeps people away from the shot.

HALF OF ADULTS DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT BOOSTERSSpeaking of viral mutation and vaccine fatigue, here’s something to chew on as we head into fall: half of the American public has heard little or nothing on the current availability of the updated Covid-19 booster that targets two subvariants of Omicron and the original strain of coronavirus, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s vaccine tracker.

Adoption of Covid-booster has not been great from the start. Federal health officials have tried to promote the modified formulations as tools that could protect Americans even better than previous boosters against Covid ahead of the fall and winter respiratory virus seasons. So far, about a third of adults say they have received the booster or plan to do so as soon as possible.

A ‘FOUR-ALARM BLAZE’ IN NEW YORK – Public health officials in New York state have been hit with back-to-back crises this year: Omicron, monkeypox and polio, writes POLITICO’s Erin Banco.

Although supported by increased public health funding per capita than most statesthe strain limited the department’s ability to quickly distribute the monkeypox vaccine in the early days of the outbreak and slowed efforts to innovate for New Yorkers to access geographic health information and finalize a review critique of his Covid work that would inform his future responses.

The state’s predicament underscores how, even after the lessons of the Covid pandemic, the country’s public health infrastructure is still not in place to deal with multiple outbreaks in addition to other health needs. public.

“Having a perfect storm of all three diseases circulating at once is a crushing blow to health services,” said Lawrence Gostin, professor of public health law at Georgetown University, referring to New York. “Investments in public health have plummeted over the decades.”

CA DOCS EXPECTED FOR COVID DISINFO – Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill that could lead to disciplinary action from California’s medical boards for doctors who spread false information about Covid-19, POLITICO’s Victoria Colliver reports.

The law project: CA AB2098 (21R) of Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) classifies “spreading misinformation or disinformation” related to Covid as unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action.

It was the most contested proposal left in a streamlined set of Covid vaccine-related bills introduced earlier this year. Critics, who included anti-vaccine campaigners, argued it would violate free speech and could amount to a “witch hunt” for doctors.

A shortage of home care workers in a tight labor market is forcing many seniors to go it alone, The Washington Post writes.

Moderna refused to hand over its mRNA vaccine recipe to Beijing, crushing the company’s sales in China, Reuters reports. (The story was first reported in the Financial Times.)

And STAT News does its Nobel Prize Predictions.


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