The Fight Against Superbugs Is All About Money

The Fight Against Superbugs Is All About Money

Low demand and profitability have prompted large pharmaceutical companies to exit the antibiotics market.

As intensive care units around the country struggle to combat increasingly resistant bacteria, companies developing the new generations of antibiotics aimed at killing them are shutting down.

The reason? Low revenues that do not cover the substantial investments in R&D. Doctors and public health experts are taking notice and proposing funding alternatives.


Video Spotlight:We’re losing the war against bacteria, here’s why


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Antibiotics Aren’t Profitable Enough for Big Pharma to Make More, by R. Langreth, May 3, 2019; and the YouTube video, We’re losing the war against bacteria, here’s why, by The New York Times, April 8, 2019. Image source: CDC/James Gathany

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are profits low in the antibiotics industry?

Guidance: Given the time and resources required to do the research, the R&D costs of developing a new antibiotic are typically high. Yet, the selling price is low compared to that of other drugs (e.g. cancer drugs), and the demand is relatively low. Not only are doctors reluctant to prescribe new antibiotics unless they are absolutely needed, but the demand Continue reading

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Unilever Shares the Right to Shower

Unilever Shares the Right to Shower

May 13, 2019

There are over half a billion homeless people in the United States. Socially conscious and sustainability-focused Unilever is launching a new product line to draw awareness and raise funds to help.

The new product line, “Right to Shower“, is a lineup of soap and body wash with scents named dignity, hope, joy, and strength.  It affords those same attributes to the homeless through improved health via cleanliness.

In 2019, 100% of all profits from the line will be donated to help build mobile shower units for the homeless in partnership with essential service provider Lava Mae.


Video Spotlight: The Right to Shower


This post is based on the Business Insider article, This new brand from Unilever is donating 100% of its profits in 2019 to bring mobile shower units to homeless communities, by Remi Rosmarin, April 29, 2019; and the YouTube video, The Right to Shower, by Unilever, January 28, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Grigvovan

Discussion Questions:

1. Why would Unilever opt to donate all, rather than a portion, of its profits from the product line to this initiative?

Guidance: Unilever has a history and culture steeped in improving the hygiene and Continue reading

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