U.S. Treasury's Yellen endorses G7 statement on antibiotics

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WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday endorsed a G7 finance leaders statement supporting development of new antibiotics to combat growing microbial resistance that is causing a "silent pandemic" that annually kills 700,000 people globally.

The G7 finance ministers, who met virtually on Monday, agreed to take additional steps to address increasing drug-resistant infections and "market failure" in the development of new antibiotic drugs.

The G7 ministers said in the statement that they would work to "create the right economic conditions to preserve essential existing antibiotics and ensure their access, strengthen AMR antibiotic research and development, and bring new drugs to market where they meet identified public health needs."

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The ministers said the G7 work would be based on individual country circumstances and initiatives. "Possible steps could include exploring a range of market incentive options, with a particular emphasis on supporting relevant pull incentives, implementing new pilot projects, contributing to new national governance structures to develop economic strategies to strengthen antibiotic development, and exploring legislative and regulatory measures," the G7 ministers said.

The U.S. Treasury in a separate statement said that Yellen also discussed with the G7 counterparts the importance of boosting global vaccination rates, but did not identify any specific new actions. The finance leaders also discussed the macroeconomic outlook and efforts to strengthen global supply chains, the department said.

The Treasury said the group also discussed the macroeconomic implications of climate change and G7 technical work "to better understand climate mitigation efforts."

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Reporting by David Lawder in Washington and David Milliken in London Editing by Matthew Lewis

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