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Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

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4 Barriers to new antibiotics – and possible solutions

In Week 5, you were introduced to some of the challenges involved in creating new antibiotics. Complete Activity 3 to see how many you can remember.

Activity 3 Factors which account for the antibiotic discovery void

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

In Week 5, you briefly considered the factors which account for the antibiotic discovery void. Which factors can you remember?

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You might have recalled that new drugs are rarely now discovered by screening soil samples or chemical libraries. Pharmaceutical companies are deterred by the financial costs and regulatory hurdles involved and many no longer have the research capacity to develop new antibiotics.

There is belated recognition by governments, public health agencies, medical communities and others that the barriers to antibiotic development must be removed and the antibiotic pipeline rebuilt. New regulatory policies and financial incentives to address this problem are being proposed (O’Neill, 2016), but barriers still remain.