IS ANTIBIOTIC DEVELOPMENT DECLINING?
Treating the increasein drug-resistantand potentiallydeadly bacterial infections,particularlymethicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus, may not be soeasy. A major problem is that the pipelinefor antibiotics is dwindling.
The Infectious Diseases Society ofAmerica indicated there were 16 new antibioticsapproved by the FDA between 1983and 1987, and 14 between 1988 and 1992,totaling an average of 3 a year. In the past 15years, those figures have been steadilydeclining with only 5 new antibiotics gettingFDA approval between 2003 and today.
Why the lack of new drugs? The pharmaceuticalmanufacturers are facing highercosts for new drugs that do not bring in themoney when they enter the market.Therefore,the companies are investing fundsin other types of medications for profits,including chronic diseases.
A new report, however, from thePharmaceutical Research and Manufacturersof America found that pharmaceuticalcompanies are currently testing338 new drugs to help treat infectious disease,including 11 medicines and 4 vaccinesto treat staphylococcal infections.The new medicines being tested are 146vaccines to prevent diseases such assmallpox and staph; 83 antibiotics/antibacterials to treat infections such aspneumonia and tuberculosis; 75 antiviralsto treat such viruses as hepatitis andinfluenza; and 25 antifungals.