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1 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 2:15:45pm

If the government sees a need to get antibiotics to market, then it should shorten the testing process or subsidize the drug companies to develop new antibiotics. I’d prefer the former, since it does not increase government spending.

2 klys  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 2:20:25pm

re: #1 Dark_Falcon

If the government sees a need to get antibiotics to market, then it should shorten the testing process or subsidize the drug companies to develop new antibiotics. I’d prefer the former, since it does not increase government spending.

Dark, that doesn’t address the problem.

Drug companies have no financial interest in producing new antibiotics because the research is expensive and they are generally a single-shot course of treatment: people take them once and then don’t need them again. There’s no profit to be made there by selling the drug repeatedly to a customer. Shortening the testing process doesn’t change those facts.

3 Dark_Falcon  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 2:55:29pm

re: #2 dr. klys

Dark, that doesn’t address the problem.

Drug companies have no financial interest in producing new antibiotics because the research is expensive and they are generally a single-shot course of treatment: people take them once and then don’t need them again. There’s no profit to be made there by selling the drug repeatedly to a customer. Shortening the testing process doesn’t change those facts.

Reducing their testing costs was the objective I was trying to get at.

4 PeterWolf  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 3:29:16pm

Reducing testing costs? Quite how would you see this working? Drug testing is stringent for some fairly simple reasons, like, apparently it’s good to know that the antibiotic is actually safe for humans to take.

5 klys  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 3:49:27pm

re: #3 Dark_Falcon

Reducing their testing costs was the objective I was trying to get at.

Testing has a very real and specific purpose, which is to make sure that a drug is safe for human use and that side effects are understood and not likely to cause more harm.

The bigger problem is that this is a for-profit industry, and right now there is little demand for antibiotics to combat the currently drug-resistant bacteria. Combine this with the fact that bacteria evolve and develop new resistances at a relatively fast pace. So you have a class of drugs that has never been a huge money maker for the industry (because again, the whole goal of antibiotics is to make it so you don’t need to take them anymore), that suffers from the same costs as these other profit-producing drugs in development, and currently has relatively little demand and becomes less effective over time (as bacteria develop resistance to it as well).

What business man is going to decide they need to invest in that?

6 PeterWolf  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 3:54:13pm

Isn’t it nice to know that everything is about money.

7 Charles Johnson  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 5:12:12pm

Uh…. please keep quotes from articles to 3 or 4 paragraphs maximum. And please put quotes in blockquotes so it’s obvious that it’s a quote from the linked article.

Owners of websites get irritated when you copy and paste entire articles, and they contact me about it.

8 sagehen  Tue, Nov 26, 2013 7:44:11pm

The problem is not that drug companies can’t make enough money on antibiotics…

The problem is that feedlots are filling cattle with so much of them it’s breeding the antibiotic-resistant infections much quicker than would happen otherwise.

There’s also a theory antibiotics are part of what’s making us obese — the reason it’s fed to cattle is to fatten them up, and it does the same to us when every baby gets antibiotics for every little infection.


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