Lack of new antibiotics raises concerns surrounding drug-resistant infections

WASHINGTON The pipeline for antibiotics has been drying up amid the concerns that there is an increase in drug-resistant and potentially deadly bacterial infections, according to

The reason for the lack of new drugs is that, pharmaceutical manufacturers are facing costs that are too high for new drugs and do not produce enough in revenues when these drugs hit the market. The companies are instead looking at other types of medications for profits, which include chronic diseases where patients will take medications a lot longer than the length of a typical illness.

According to the Diseases Society of America, there were 16 new antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration between 1983 and 1987, and 14 between 1988 and 1992, an average of three a year. Those numbers have been steadily dwindling in the past 15 years, with only five new antibiotics winning approval between 2003 and today.

Ken Johnson, the senior vice president for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a major industry trade group, said there are 61 vaccines in the pipeline to help treat patients suffering from infectious diseases, and 34 antibiotic treatments in development. Many of these antibiotics are years away from being considered for approval by the FDA.

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