Public Health Leader Responds to Pledged Commitment to Address Superbug-Producing Waste

The following is a statement by Bill Corr, Senior Advisor at Waxman Strategies and former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, on the announced commitment by thirteen major drug makers to reduce pollution from antibiotic factory supply chains which can contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and superbugs:

“It is encouraging to see these thirteen companies acknowledge that this is a problem and map out a path to protecting public health and the environment. When it comes to AMR, it’s all or nothing. As long as any source of resistance is allowed to persist, so does the risk to our health. To date, major pharmaceutical companies are contributing to antimicrobial resistance by failing to protect their supply chains. This failure creates a risk to the public health that can be easily addressed.

“While it is still too early to validate the approach outlined by the thirteen drug makers including Pfizer, Novartis, and Merck, public health advocates like myself remain committed to focusing on this issue to see that others connected to antibiotic pollution like Aurobindo, McKessen and Mylan follow suit. Mylan is the company testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform committee tomorrow on its practices around pricing of the life-saving EpiPens.

“Drugs from Mylan end up in store shelves across the country, as they are a major supplier to retail giant CVS. Retailers like CVS have remained silent on the issue of supplier conduct. Retailers have an important role to play in this and should move to suspend their business relationships with laggards.”