Leading pharmacists call for new antibiotics to be developed

Big drug companies have little incentive to develop new antibiotics despite huge concerns about resistance to the drugs, leading pharmacists have said.

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'Urgent action must be taken' on antibiotic resistance

The Department of Health said it is aware "urgent action" must be taken to control resistance to antibiotics or "we could face serious problems in years to come"

A spokeswoman said:

That is why the UK is working with WHO and international bodies to support global action.

The development of new antibiotics is key and we are identifying opportunities to promote this.

We have active programmes in all these areas, which together will help us stay one step ahead both nationally and internationally.

Market 'doesn't incentivise production of new drugs'

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said despite the "incredibly exciting age" we live in, the market is "not set up to incentivise the production of new types of medicines".

RPS chief scientist Professor Jayne Lawrence said: "The current crisis in antimicrobial resistance is in part due to the lack of new classes of antibiotics coming on the market.

The RPS says the market is 'not set up to incentivise the production of new types of medicines'. Credit: Reuters

"Antibiotics can cure infections in weeks, so the volume of sales of drugs is low. This doesn't allow the tens or even hundreds of millions required for research and development to be recouped.

"Unless we find a way to develop treatments that cure illnesses in months, rather than treat symptoms for years, we will not see the breakthroughs that both scientists and patients want."

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Experts call for new antibiotics to be developed

Big drug companies have little incentive to develop new antibiotics despite huge concerns about resistance to the drugs, according to a group of leading pharmacists.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said the prospect of creating new drugs was "low due to the poor return on investment they provide".

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has called for new antibiotics to be developed. Credit: PA Wire

The RPS said in its latest report that more must be done to support the discovery of new antibiotics.

It also called for the public to become more educated on the use of the medicines and better management of the drugs by healthcare workers.

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