New drugs are urgently needed to combat the growing threat of high-resistance bacteria, but few are in the pipeline. What is happening? In a time when great new pharmaceutical products cure some of our most deadly diseases and help us live healthier lives, the world has largely abandoned the development of some of the most needed drugs of modern medicine antibiotics.
Between the times it was discovered penicillin in 1928 and the 1970s, antibiotics 270 a solid arsenal of powerful drugs that kept at bay bacteria as almost all infections were approved. But since then, research on new antibiotics has drastically declined. The last set of truly new antibiotics to be approved was discovered more than 30 years ago says microbiologist Carolyn Shore, a Pew Charitable Trusts Project Officer on Antibiotic Resistance. At present, only five of the fifty major large pharmaceutical companies are developing new antibiotics.
It could not have happened at a worse time since they are increasing the super resistant bacteria nightmare that resists the effects of almost all antibiotics. This year, at least two million people in the United States will contract bacterial infections with antibiotic resistance and more than 23,000 will die. In the long run, we may not even be able to perform routine surgical procedures such as joint prostheses because the risks of getting antibiotic-resistant infections will be too dangerous warns Dr. Helen Boucher, director of the disease subspecialty program Infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center.
For more than a decade doctors, researchers and even drug company specialists have warned of the danger. At the same time, the stock of effective antibiotics has been misused and irresponsible they have been prescribed for diseases that do not treat and used in large quantities in agriculture to promote animal growth, which has stimulated the increase of resistant organisms. There are ongoing initiatives to develop new medicines but recovering the advantage could take years.