July 11, 2023

Ahead of HELP Committee Hearing on Superbugs, Young, Bennet Call on Congress to Pass Their PASTEUR Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) released the following statement ahead of a U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on the effect of antimicrobial resistance on modern medicine:

“Superbugs are expected to be the leading cause of death in the world by 2050. But right now, doctors and health care providers across the country don’t have the tools to fight back.

“Our bipartisan, bicameral PASTEUR Act would encourage the development of innovative antibiotic treatment and help educate providers on how to best use these life-saving medications to slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. This legislation is the strongest bill ever written to expand the development of next-generation antibiotics and strengthen antibiotic stewardship.

“We can’t sit on our hands and wait for the next public health crisis to arrive. It’s time for Congress to pass the PASTEUR Act.”

In April, Young and Bennet introduced the Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Upsurging Resistance (PASTEUR) Act to encourage innovative drug development targeting the most threatening infections, improve the appropriate use of antibiotics, and ensure domestic availability when needed.

The PASTEUR Act would address this market failure and increase public health preparedness by keeping novel antibiotics on the market and improving appropriate use across the health care system. While current contracts between the government and drug makers base payment on volume, the PASTEUR Act would establish a subscription-style model offering antibiotic developers an upfront payment in exchange for access to their antibiotics, encouraging innovation and ensuring our health care system is prepared to treat resistant infections. Young and Bennet first introduced the PASTEUR Act in September 2020.