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IRIN Examines Antibiotic Resistance, Efforts To Discover New Drugs

IRIN examines a global increase in resistance to antibiotics, writing, “Almost one in every five deaths worldwide occurs as a result of infection, but many bacterial illnesses will become incurable as the efficacy of current antibiotic drugs wanes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).” The news service continues, “With increasing resistance to antibiotics, the need to find replacements is becoming more urgent.”

“Even with political will, scientific progress is slow, partly because designing an antibiotic that effectively treats a range of bacterial illnesses can be more difficult than finding a vaccine that prevents infection by targeting one specific disease,” the news service writes, noting that only two new classes of antibiotics have been discovered and launched over the past 30 years. Though the pipeline for new antibiotic discoveries is essentially dry, IRIN notes, “Efforts underway to boost antibiotic discoveries include the Generating Antibiotic Initiatives Now (GAIN) Act in the U.S., expected to pass later in 2012, while the European Union (E.U.) recently launched a public-private partnership between public research organizations and pharmaceutical companies to encourage appropriate antibiotic use, monitor bacterial resistance, and boost research” (6/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.