WHY YOU HAD BETTER HAVE A “PLAN B” AS FAR AS ANTIBIOTICS ARE CONCERNED
Interestingly enough, BIG PHARMA is not doing much to bring new antibiotics to the table. Why not? Mostly because they are interested in high dollar drugs that people will either take for a lifetime or will spend hundreds of thousands on during the time they do take them (HERE). Currently, research shows that it takes at least a decade to bring a new drug to market. But that’s just the beginning. Listen to Elizabeth Sukkar explaining this ‘Catch-22’ for the The Pharmaceutical Journal (Why are there so Few Antibiotics in the Research and Development Pipeline?)
“Although society wants pharmaceutical companies to research and develop new antibiotics, policy-makers do not want healthcare professionals to use them. In other words, products should sit on the shelf until they are really needed by patients because of the antimicrobial resistance problem through the imprudent use of antibiotics over the years. Furthermore, if antibiotics are used, they are generally used for the short-term, not like the long-term therapies that help bring in revenues for companies.”
Think her take is an aberration? Do you wonder if this problem is really as big a deal as you’ve been hearing? Take a gander at a few of these CHERRY-PICKED tidbits and notice just how little things have really changed over the years (I was starting to hear about this phenomenon while in college at Kansas State University back in the 1980’s).
“As of September 2017, an estimated 48 new antibiotics with the potential to treat serious bacterial infections are in clinical development. The success rate for clinical drug development is low; historical data show that, generally, only 1 in 5 infectious disease products that enter human testing will be approved for patients.” From a 2014 issue of PEW (Antibiotics Currently in Global Clinical Development)
“The current crisis in antibiotic R&D is attributed to an industry pipeline with few late-stage candidates capable of combating the emergence and spread of novel, drug-resistant bacterial strains.” From the press release for 2008’s book by Dr. Leslie Pray (Antibiotic R&D:Resolving the Paradox between Unmet Medical Need and Commercial Incentive)
“New antibiotics are badly needed but have been seen as rather unsexy by big pharma over the past few decades because of the relatively poor return on investment in comparison with other fields, where approved products can command much higher prices.” Richard Staines writing for PharmaPhorum in Feb of this year (EU Must do More to Promote Antibiotic R&D)
“The pipeline for new antibiotics remains perilously weak, largely because of issues with the current business model around their development. September marks 90 years since Fleming discovered Penicillium on petri dishes in his London lab. Only through scientific persistence and collaboration did that serendipitous find become a miracle medicine. Success sparked a short-lived golden-age of antibiotic discovery which petered out within two decades. Of greatest concern, there have been no innovative treatments for the most serious, Gram-negative, superbugs since 1962.” Dr. Tim Jinks from the March 15, 2018 issue of The Telegraph (New Thinking is Required to Create Desperately Needed New Antibiotics. We Must Act Now)
“Antibiotic resistance has been a problem since the 1940s, but for most of that time, whenever bacteria defeated one drug, there was always a better one to take its place. It took until about the year 2000 for antibiotics manufacturers to become so discouraged by the pace of resistance and the price of developing new compounds that they decided, en masse, to leave the business. Antibiotic resistance kills 23,000 Americans each year and possibly 700,000 people around the globe. Once bacteria run through the drugs we’ve got now, we haven’t got any more.” From a two year old issue of National Geographic (Millions Injected Into Push for New Antibiotics)
“There’s a dire need for new drugs to fight the growing menace of superbugs, but few are in the works. What’s going on here? Between the time penicillin was discovered in 1928 and the 1970s, 270 antibiotics were approved — a robust arsenal of powerful drugs that kept almost all bacterial infections at bay. But since then, research into new antibiotics has declined dramatically. The last truly new class of antibiotics that made it through approval was discovered more than 30 years ago…. Today, just five of the top 50 big drug companies are developing new antibiotics. The timing couldn’t be worse.” From a November 2016 issue of AARP (Where are the Antibiotics?)
“Concern continues to grow over the emergence of bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. Things are getting so alarming that political leaders such as President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron have made antibiotic resistance a top healthcare priority in their respective countries. Despite this crisis, many major pharmaceutical companies–the very organizations best poised to help solve this challenge–remain on the sidelines. With such an obvious medical need, why are these companies shying away from committing R&D resources to this fight? The answer lies in pharma’s business model. Companies thrive by growing their product sales. But, from a financial perspective, the potential market for new antibiotics is lackluster at best.” From John LaMattina’s June 2016 article in Forbes (A Proposal To Spur Pharma R&D Investment Into Antibiotics For ‘Superbugs’)
“Numerous major international and national initiatives aimed at financially incentivising the research and development (R&D) of antibiotics have been implemented. However, it remains unclear how to effectively strengthen the current set of incentive programmes to further accelerate antibiotic innovation. This study finds that incentive programmes are overly committed to early-stage push funding of basic science and preclinical research, while there is limited late-stage push funding of clinical development. Moreover, there are almost no pull incentives to facilitate transition of antibiotic products from early clinical phases to commercialisation.” From the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Antibiotics (Incentivising Innovation in Antibiotic Drug Discovery and Development: Progress, Challenges and Next Steps)
“When we hear talk of courses of antibiotics costing thousands of dollars, we should begin to wonder how we will ensure access and stewardship for such an innovation pipeline. Antibiotics fare much worse than other therapeutics areas when it comes to the R&D pipeline, with only a 7 percent of yield for promising leads, compared to 80 percent yield in all therapeutic areas.” Catherine Saez writing for the May 24, 2017 issue of Intellectual Property Watch (Antimicrobial Resistance Needs New R&D Models)
Before we leave this topic, I need to ask the John-Q casual reader a question regarding antibiotic safety. Just how safe (or dangerous if you want to look at it that way) are antibiotics — a known SUPPRESSOR OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM and DESTROYER OF GUT HEALTH (the most important aspect of your overall health)? Unbeknownst to the average person, the way our society uses antibiotics makes them not only a killer and huge destroyer of our collective health (HERE are dozens of ways they can wreck your health), it’s been predicted that within a decade they will be KILLING MORE PEOPLE THAN CANCER (currently our nation’s number one leading cause of death) — a disease that they actually cause (HERE). And really; let’s all be honest with each other for a moment. This issue isn’t going away even if we do come up with a couple of new ANTIBIOTICS. Why not?
Because in similar fashion to the way that the government always wants more of your money but has not shown an iota of responsibility in spending it; until we see that the practicing medical community is actually willing to follow THE GUIDELINES and not prescribe these drugs except in life-or-death cases, we’ve done nothing but move the apocalypse needle back a decade or so.
The point of today’s article is to get you to once again realize that your health is up to you. In fact, if you were aware of THIS ONE SIMPLE FACT, you wouldn’t likely need (or more accurately, feel you need) the antibiotics you are taking anyway. If you know people who could benefit from the totally free information provided on our website, be sure to spread the wealth. The easiest way to reach the individuals you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK.