The WHO Alert: Limited Drugs To Combat Infections With Deadly Superbugs

Antibiotic resistance has been on the rise globally. Health officials have repeatedly emphasized developing powerful new drugs to combat resistant infections. The current scenario is – a lack of effective drugs against resistant pathogens. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only a handful of new antibiotics are being developed. There are only 27 new antibiotics undergoing clinical trials that are posed to target the most threatening infections. However, the WHO deems only six as innovative and potent to fight antibiotic resistance, while only two as effective against the most resistant bacteria. The elaborate report will be released during the upcoming European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Between 2017 to 2021, cefiderocol – which targets the superbugs on WHO’s most critical list, was approved.

Over 5 million annual deaths have been attributed to antibiotic resistance – this number is greater than those of HIV, TB, and malaria. Both bacteria and fungi can generate more resistant strains due to antibiotic misuse. 

Testing for new drugs is expensive, and the cost of new antimicrobial development costs higher for pharmaceutical companies as they take up to 20 years, amounting to – $568 to $700 million. However, only one in 30 such drugs gain marketing approval. 

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