House Members Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Combat the Rise of Drug-Resistant Infections

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Washington, Jun 15, 2011 | Brooke Sammon ((202) 225-2931) | comments

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act, to provide incentives for the development of new antibiotics needed to treat new and emerging resistant bugs. The GAIN Act is authored by Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D. (R-GA) and co-sponsored by Representatives Gene Green (D-TX), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), and John Shimkus (R-IL). The following statements were issued along with the introduction of the bipartisan legislation:

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA): “There are some issues so important they transcend politics-as-usual. Protecting American families from deadly infections is certainly one of them, which is why my colleagues and I are introducing the GAIN Act.  With this legislation, we hope to ensure that new drugs will be available to combat the rising numbers of antibiotic-resistant bugs that threaten Americans in hospitals, on the battlefield, in their homes, and in our schools. Health professionals have been sounding the alarm on this problem for over a decade – a solution to this problem is long overdue.”   

Rep. Gene Green (D-TX): “To date, antibiotics have been overused and over prescribed. This has resulted in mutating new bacteria with fewer and fewer antibiotics to combat infection. The GAIN Act, by providing innovators with additional data exclusivity, seeks to responsibly spur innovation and increase the number of new antibiotics in the FDA approval pipeline. The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is very disconcerting and an issue Congress must take steps to address before it becomes a full blown public health crisis.”

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL): “This legislation is important, as the United States is where nearly every new drug is developed.  If we seriously are concerned about resistant drugs, we must encourage the manufacturers and the FDA to move on this need.”

Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA): “Every day, patients in our country, and around the world, die because they develop infections resistant to existing antibiotics,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo. “As bacteria evolve, it’s critical that antibiotics stay a step ahead of the problem. This bill encourages companies to develop new antibiotics, an area that’s traditionally been unprofitable for most companies and the reason why they are really lacking in our healthcare system. The GAIN Act is a bipartisan approach to stave off a public health crisis and I look forward to its passage into law.”

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI): “The GAIN Act will encourage the development of next-generation antibiotic drugs to protect public health and our national security,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, MI-08. “It will also ensure that we use our nation’s greatest resource – our own scientists and engineers – to come up with innovative solutions to reduce antimicrobial resistance.”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): “Amidst growing concerns about antibiotic resistance and its very real threat to the public health, I am proud today to cosponsor the GAIN Act,” said Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-1). “We face not only resistance to treatments for the bacterial illnesses we’ve long confronted, but also the threats of mutations or new illnesses we’ve yet to encounter. This bill addresses the need for new and innovative antibiotic treatments to better protect our families and the health of the American public as a whole for years to come.”

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