Big Pharma accused of 'endless talk, no action' on antibiotic threat

Former head of UK review has also called for a new government-utility-type drug company

The pharmaceutical industry should match its words with action on researching new antibiotics to address the threat posed by drug-resistant superbugs, a former UK Government adviser says.

In a strongly worded attack on major drug companies, Lord Jim O'Neill, who headed a UK Government review of antimicrobial resistance in 2016, said the industry had produced "endless talk and no action" about the problem.

"If the pharma companies delivered one-tenth of the commitment in their words, we might be getting somewhere," Lord O'Neill told reporters at a briefing in London on Wednesday.

Lord O'Neill, formerly chief economist of Goldman Sachs, said the best solution might be to create a government-funded utility-type drug company, which would not be beholden to shareholders.

His 18-month-long review — commissioned by former British Prime Minister David Cameron and concluded in 2016 — found