The very good news is that antibiotic research by drug companies is slowly starting up again after a long sabbatical. But almost without exception, the complete story of how we got here is not told.
A the end of every year there is a tally of the number of new drugs that were approved by the FDA during that year. This was recently covered quite thoroughly in a Forbes.com op-ed by Bernard Munos entitled The FDA Approvals of 2012: A Watershed? Munos points out that the number of approvals in 2013 (27) was down sharply from the 37 new drugs that were approved in 2012. While this may be an important number for the pharmaceutical industry, in terms of public health these numbers don t mean all that much.
Every now and then our government gets something right. This is one of those times. What is unfortunate is that it should have never come to this in the first place. Because 20 years ago our government got it really wrong, for which we are now paying a steep price.
In today s you must be kidding news, the FDA, prodded by the Obama administration, told Congress that they were very concerned about the threat of bacteria that are immune to drugs.
We at ACSH have written frequently about an unmitigated disaster that has already begun the progressive failure of available antibiotics to tackle previously treatable bacterial infections. Yesterday the CDC issued a report about this, and it was more of the same.
Dr. A. Zuger's NYTimes column presents an excellent discussion of penicillin allergies, both real, exaggerated, and severe and how to deal with them.
As back-to-school time rolls around, parents should be thinking of more than finding the best backpacks and lunch boxes.
Today s Wall Street Journal features a very informative article entitled Antibiotics Do s and Don ts. The article lists infections for which use of antibiotics is warranted and a longer list of those for which it is not.
Former vice president of infectious disease research at Wyeth and ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes knows a thing or two about dealing with the FDA, and its misguided policies regarding approval of new antibiotics.