Will our antibiotics become useless?
In the 90’s there were as many as 18 large pharmaceutical companies actively producing antibiotics in the world but now, because of low profit margins, many have left in search of better returns leaving only 4 companies defending patients against infection. To add on to what seems to be a dire situation, antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise and of the companies left, none of them are currently investigating new antibiotics to effectively treat this growing threat. PHE.gov says “Some estimates report that if nothing is done, deaths from antibiotic resistant infections worldwide will surpass cancer deaths by 2050.” Some organizations are beginning to fund new antibiotic research in the hopes to stay ahead of predicted trend. BARDA has issued the Antimicrobial Resistant Diagnostic Challenge in the hopes of spurring new development in the antibiotic industry but many market challenges, like those of small returns, prove difficult to overcome.