A new bill seeks to spur antibiotic development, while drugmakers plan to invest nearly $1 billion in the struggling sector

Lawmakers and drug companies are seeking to rescue an antibiotics industry that is floundering despite its success in developing new medicines.

Several antibiotics companies have collapsed after struggling to sell their drugs, a testament to what experts call a broken system for paying for these medications—one that scares venture capitalists away and forces small companies, the industry’s lifeblood, to rely heavily on grants and nontraditional investors.

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