Antibiotics expert Dr. David Shlaes has been fighting two very tough fights for more than three decades. One is against increasingly dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria; the other, against complacency. This American Council advisor is deeply concerned that antibiotic research and development is not even remotely adequate for keeping up with the bugs.
American Council advisor, and infectious disease expert Dr. David Shlaes has been writing a blog called "Antibiotics—the Perfect Storm" since 2009. Today, he features a guest blogger, Dr.Tamar Ghosh, who leads the Longitude Prize for the Innovation Lab at Nesta, a charity that is devoted to increasing the innovation capacity of the UK. Dr. Ghosh writes about the biggest science prize in the UK:
Yesterday, we took Zeke Emanuel s and his New York Times op-ed to task for a variety of reasons. Today, ACSH advisor David Shlaes, in his blog, Antibiotics-The Perfect Storm, takes a more nuanced look at an alternative way to refill the antibiotic pipeline without dangling big prize money in front of companies that succeed in coming up with a new class of antibiotics (whatever that means).
Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 1.46.58 PMNormally, this wouldn t even make the news. A new antibiotic approved. Not only that, but it belongs to a class of antibiotics (called cephalosporins) from the class of 1960s, which is hardly novel. There are about 60 cephalosporins that have been approved since 1964, when cephalothin was launched by Lilly.
We at ACSH have been beating this drum for years: The world is getting into serious trouble bad enough to make Ebola seems like athlete s foot because of the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria coupled with a sharp decline in drug discovery research in this area. Some public health officials believe that this is the single biggest threat to global human health one that could take us back to the days before the discovery of penicillin, when death from common diseases such as pneumonia and strep throat was common.
At ACSH, we probably spend more time debunking phony or overblown fears than anything else. Between bad science, hidden agendas, and terrible press coverage we never run out of things to do. Although most scares vaccines, minute traces of chemicals in the environment, or GM foods, for example are baseless, this does not mean that all of them are.
Bacterial resistance is a devastating problem for healthcare even now, especially in hospitalized patients. If current trends continue, we are all facing a real crisis. In an op-ed by former
The FDA is planning to cleanse antibacterial cleansers of what they deem to be mislabeled ingredients: triclosan and triclocarban. The agency will require proof that the products so labeled are in fact antibacterial, and that they are not harmful. The makers have one year to show them the data.