October 7, 2014 – No New Antibiotics


Anchor lead:  Why haven’t there been any new antibiotics in recent years? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Antibiotic resistance is being tackled head on by the federal government with a new, comprehensive plan designed to address many aspects of the problem, from physician behavior to patient expectation.  But another facet also needs to be included.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says that’s encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs.

Miller: I think the R and D costs behind developing a new antibiotic are so large that we’ve created some impediment for pharmaceutical companies to embark upon this venture.  We’ll have to wrestle with how can we lower that burden so that they’re engaged and want to develop new antibiotics.  There has not been a true, groundbreaking antibiotic that’s come to market gosh, probably in five or ten years, so we need to take a look at our markets and what we’re doing that people don’t want to enter this market.   :30

Miller says price protections and other strategies may help. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.