FINANCIAL TIMES | Price is not always a reliable guide to value. The financial rewards that come from developing new antibiotics are pitiful, but their importance cannot be overstated. Developers of new antibiotics have to contend with both low prices and low volumes. Innovative treatments are deployed slowly to reduce the risk of resistance developing. That makes it hard to recoup R&D costs. Those are typically around $1.5bn, about 33 times average annual sales. The current pandemic has shown the value of planning ahead of crises. Small companies have done a lot of the running, initially sustained by research grants from CARB-X and other organizations. But they have struggled to make a return. The handful of quoted innovators, such as the US’s Summit Therapeutics and India’s Wockhardt, have together lost more than half their value since 2015. Several have been forced into bankruptcy. New business models— including Netflix-style subscriptions — are being explored to overcome market failure. Urgent action is needed by governments to ensure that society has the new antibiotics and other products needed to address the rise of drug resistance.