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No ESKAPE! New drugs against MRSA, other superbugs still lacking
Date:12/1/2008

e when it comes to Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas. Called "gram negative" for the way they react to a common staining test used to identify bacteria in a microscope, they attack some of the most vulnerable patients, including those in intensive care units and long-term care facilities, burn victims, and those with cystic fibrosis. These especially bad bugs are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Physicians are now facing some strains that are resistant to every antibiotic in the arsenal. Only one new drug was approved for gram-negative infections last year, and resistance already exists to other drugs in its class.

In its 2004 report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs: As Antibiotic Development StagnatesA Public Health Crisis Brews," IDSA detailed the complex mix of factors driving drug makers out of the antibiotics market. One factor is the high cost of drug development coupled with the low rate of return on investment antibiotics provide compared with drugs for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Furthermore, regulations for new drug approvals have been murky, and drug manufacturers have been reluctant to gamble.

In the new report, IDSA outlines steps Congress should take to make antibiotics a more attractive business proposition. The report applauds FDA for taking steps toward clarifying regulations for drug approvals, and urges more movement in this direction. IDSA also urges Congress to pass the Strategies To Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act, a bill designed to improve research, surveillance, and prevention of antimicrobial-resistant germs.

"More than four years after our first report, the bad bugs are getting worse, and we still don't have the drugs we need," Dr. Boucher said. "We need new tools to fight the ESKAPE bugs now. But there will always be bad bugs. We need industry, academia, and government working together so we are never again left with no drugs for
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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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