Antibiotics lose favour with the pharmaceutical industry
lives of many could be at stake, with pharmaceutical giants shying away from the development of new antibiotics. Prominent experts have expressed this concern at the much-acclaimed 43rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, organised from September 14-17, 2003, in Chicago, usa. They allege that many companies, such as Roche and Eli Lilly, are just concentrating on the treatments of chronic illnesses. Signs of the retreat were quite clear during the meet. As compared to last year, there were 10 per cent fewer presentations pertaining to new drugs; there was even a slump in the number of the industry's representatives.
The change is quite untimely -- resistance to antibiotics is growing; 20 per cent of infections in the us hospitals involve multidrug-resistant bacteria, reports the us Food and Drug Administration. It is but natural for bacteria and viruses to become resistant to antibiotics; but this makes the 'wonder drugs' less profitable in the long run; unlike medicines for chronic illnesses, antibiotics are used for a small duration -- this means a short-term clientele. Moreover, new antibiotics that combat the 'resistance' problem are used to treat only the most stubborn infections -- so they aren't money-spinners.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.