The World Health Organization was requested by Member States to develop a global priority pathogens list (global PPL) of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to help in prioritizing the research and development (R&D) of new and effective antibiotic treatments. To date, the selection of pathogens for R&D activities has been largely guided by small and large pharmaceutical companies according to a variety of parameters, such as perceived/unmet medical need, pressure of investors, market size, scientific discovery potential, and availability of specific technologies. Previous PPLs, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada, focused on national public health priorities to increase scientific, political and public awareness without including specific R&D criteria.
The major objective of the global PPL is to guide the prioritization of incentives and funding, help align R&D priorities with public health needs and support global coordination in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The WHO PPL targets policy initiatives to incentivize basic science and advanced R&D by both public funding agencies and the private sector investing in new antibiotics.
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