NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 28, 2004

With more pharmaceutical research and drug development for the treatment of chronic conditions and "lifestyle" issues, the pipeline for new antibiotics has dried up. The consequences for patients could be dire, says a new report from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

According to IDSA:

  • Of the 90,000 fatal bacterial infections that occur each year, about 70 percent are resistant to at least one drug.
  • Resistant bacteria lead to longer hospital stays and more expensive drugs, costing the United States about $5 billion annually.
  • In 2002, out of 89 new drugs, no new antibiotics were approved.

Federal officials have recognized antibiotic resistance and the lack of new drugs as increasing threats to U.S. public health and biodefense efforts.

Passing tax credits for new R&D, reducing the costs of clinical trials, and implementing liability protections are three possible ways to spur firms to invest in new antibiotics, says the report.

Source: "Bad Bugs, No Drugs," Infectious Diseases Society of America, July 21, 2004.


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