CNN, TIME Examine Increasing Antibiotic Resistance

CNN examines a recent report by researchers that warns of increasing antibiotic resistance and appeals for governments to take action to develop new antibiotics to avert a health crisis.

“Antibiotics such as penicillin have been key to the decline of infectious diseases over the last 60 years, but bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to existing drugs … and a lack of research into new drugs means there is a dire shortage of alternatives, according to the report by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),” the news service writes.

According to CNN, “Kathleen Holloway of the WHO [said] … antibiotic resistance is a global problem, with diseases including childhood pneumonia, dysentery and tuberculosis (TB) no longer responding to first-line antibiotics in some parts of the world. ‘Research and development of new antibiotics isn’t keeping up with development of resistance. If we don’t do something about it we’ll end up with a situation where all the old drugs have resistance and we don’t have any new ones,’ [Holloway said].” (Tutton, 10/1)

Also reflecting on the LSE report, TIME examines why it is not cost-effective for pharmaceutical companies to invest in antibiotic research and ways to incentivize such companies to invest in the development of new antibiotics. TIME writes, “The LSE report recommends the European Union and the U.S. implement a hybrid of pull and push mechanisms to encourage antibiotic development, with bonus incentives linked to the drugs’ efficacy” (Harrell, 10/1).

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