Market study finds new antibiotics often not widely distributed globally

Antibiotics launched since 1999 took awhile to attain fairly wide geographic dispersal and often targeted common conditions rather than antibiotic-resistant infections, according to a study today in PLoS One.

Of 25 new antibiotics reaching the market from 1999 through 2014, only 12 had registered sales in more than 10 countries. Those with the widest geographic availability had sales in more than 70 countries within 10 years, and in 30 countries within 3 years.

Just 13 (52%) of the new antibiotics had an indication for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with little diversity as far as the target pathogen and indication: 18 were for community-acquired respiratory tract infections, 14 for skin and skin-structure infections, and 12 for urinary tract infections (obviously, several had multiple indications). None targeted gram-negative bacteria, which are among the most troublesome.

The new antibiotics were largely produced in Japan (11 drugs) and the United States (6). Seven were launched in Japan and 12 in the US market. The antibiotics with the greatest geographic availability by 2014—ertapenem, linezolid, moxifloxacin, and tigecycline, which all reached more than 60 countries—originated from European or US companies and were launched in those regions. In general, drugs launched in Japan were less likely to be available in other nations, though antibiotics for drug-resistant infections tended to have greater geographic distribution.

The authors conclude, “Our findings show great variation in geographic availability of antibiotics, indicating that availability in multiple regions and country income classes is possible, but rarely seen within a few years of market authorization.”
Oct 16 PLoS One study

Source: CIDRAP

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