This case focuses on the problem of antibiotic resistance and examines the challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies involved in new antibiotics discovery and development. It features a publicly held research and development (R&D) pharmaceutical company based in the United States that has been a leader in developing antibiotics for decades, but in recent years began shifting its focus to more profitable drugs. As it considers its business strategy for the next 5–10 years, the company must weigh the costs and benefits of continuing to invest in new antibiotics. What are the main challenges that it must overcome to ensure return on its antibiotics’ investments? What are some emerging opportunities and key stakeholders to partner with? What policy and other actions are needed to prevent the global health and economic crisis that the World Health Organization has warned is approaching? What did the industry and policy makers learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be used to address another global health and economic crisis? The case introduces students to the problem of antibiotic resistance, its main causes, and related health and economic impacts. It challenges students to identify business and societal strategies for overcoming the current barriers and implementing successful business models for addressing the antibiotic resistance crisis.
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