New York of counsel Mark Kessel recently wrote an editorial titled “Why Microbial Diagnostics Need More Than Money” that was published in Nature Biotechnology (September 2015).
Kessel’s editorial is in response to an earlier article featured in Nature Biotechnology about the need for novel therapies and companion diagnostics in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The authors of the earlier article proposed solutions to overcome some of the regulatory and funding hurdles faced in the United States related to approval and R&D of drugs and diagnostics. Kessel notes, however, that the fight against AMR should take place on a global stage. As a result, the solutions that would work for higher-income countries like the United States will not necessarily work for low- and middle-income countries, where it is just as important to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment, and avoid overprescription of antibiotics. Kessel argues that because each of us may be only a plane ride away from a drug-resistant bacterial infection most commonly found in another country, “[i]t is in all of our best interests to ensure that there are new drugs and diagnostics in the development pipeline that meet the range of priority needs in developed and developing countries.”