Lack of New Antibiotics in Global Market

Antibiotics are the class of medicines that doesn't existed before 1930s. The very first antibiotic was Penicillin, which was known to cure a wide range of diseases. After that a wide range of Antibiotics were discovered till 1970. But now Antibiotic discovery has reached a point where they are not getting attention of either governments or pharma companies. In this article we will try to put some light on this issue and try to find the reason behind lack of new antibiotics in global market.

Why No New Antibiotics ?

No new antibiotics are coming into market due to various reasons. Some of the major reasons are:

  • Market Failure: Antibiotics are not as profitable as other drugs, such as drugs to treat hair loss, diabetes and asthma. Most pharmaceutical companies are private and they go for profitable business. Antibiotics research takes a lot of time and money.
  • Doctors don't prescribe new Antibiotics: Even if the new antibiotic is effective, doctors don't start prescribing it. They save it for those cases where other antibiotics don't work. Doctors are well aware of resistant bacteria and they want to keep some surprise element for them. But this thing makes pharmaceutical companies keep themselves away from new antibiotic production.
  • Lack of Rules and Regulation: Most of the governments don't have proper rules, regulations and guidelines for research, development and clinical trials of new antibiotics.


Classes of Antibiotics: The following table shows the year of introduction of some Antibiotic Class. Here you can see that most of the antibiotics were discovered between 1930 to 1970.


According to a news published in The Telegraph on 7th Jan 2016, a new antibiotic named Teixobactin is discovered that can fight against a wide range of bacteria. Good thing is that bacteria can't become resistant to it for at least 30 years. But the bad thing is that this antibiotic is still to go for human testing and it will take at least 5 years to be available in market for general public. Discovery of this new antibiotic has created a new class of antibiotic and made a way to create antibiotic through genetic engineering.

Apart from the above discovery, governments of different countries should also provide some fund for Scientific research on new antibiotics. Private pharma companies will only go for profit, but government can either ask them to invest certain percentage of their profit on Antibiotic research or just make it mandatory for them.

We hope that new and better antibiotics will be available in market soon.
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