Hand drug pharmaceutical health Colin Campbell/Flickr

L'industrie pharmaceutique peut mieux faire

LONDRES – Lorsque David Cameron, le Premier ministre britannique, m'a demandé de faire un rapport concernant les problèmes de résistance aux antibiotiques, je ne m'attendais pas à ce que cela me conduise à remettre en question l'un des outils de gestion financière les plus répandus : le rachat par une entreprise de ses propres actions.

La résistance de plus en plus fréquente aux antibiotiques est un problème grave. Si l'on ne trouve pas de solution, elle pourrait causer le décès de 10 millions de personnes par an vers 2050, un nombre supérieur à celui des décès dus actuellement au cancer. Et cela aura un coût astronomique : 100 000 milliards de dollars. Mais heureusement il est possible de faire face à la menace - à condition d'y consacrer les moyens voulus.

L'une des meilleures solutions consiste à développer de nouveaux médicaments. Dans un article qui va sortir prochainement, la Review on Antimicrobial Resistance évalue à 25 milliards de dollars le coût du développement, de la mise sur le marché et de l'amélioration de l'administration de nouveaux antibiotiques. C'est une somme significative, mais qui ne représente pas grand chose comparée au coût des dommages si l'on ne trouve pas de solution au problème. Or c'est à peu près l'équivalent de la somme que les deux plus grands laboratoires pharmaceutiques de la planète vont consacrer cette année au rachat de leurs propres actions.

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