SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

October 01, 2009 13:09 ET

Drug Resistance Weakening Revenue Lines of Antibiotic Products

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 1, 2009) - Drug resistance is a key public health problem and also a problem for makers of branded antibacterial products, according to the findings of a new report. Traditional antibiotics: quinolones, cephalosporins, and penicillins, have seen their market share erode due to loss of effectiveness, while at the same time they are facing heavy generic competition. Growth is flat and in some cases, sales are declining, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information's "Worldwide Market for Anti-Infectives (Antifungals, Antibacterials and Antivirals)." The total world market for antibacterial drugs, which represents almost half of the anti-infectives market, is estimated at $24.5 billion for 2009, up a scant 0.7% from 2008.

Resistance is not a new concept -- resistances to antimicrobials were first recognized around 1950 starting with penicillin. However, the problem is increasing at an alarming rate that far exceeds the rate at which new drugs are being discovered and brought to market. Therefore, notes Kalorama Information, preserving the effectiveness of existing antibiotics is critical to protecting public health.

"As much as half of medically prescribed antibiotics are unnecessary, which is a remnant of the misinformation that antibiotics cure all and are not harmful," said Melissa Elder, an analyst for Kalorama Information. "In many hospitals, third generation cephalosporins are used in emergency rooms when the existence of infections has not even been established. Many such interventions are of questionable efficacy and pose an additional risk in favor of resistant bacteria."

More than 90% of staphylococcus aureus strains are resistant to penicillin and other related antibiotics; and many are resistant even to the newer methicillin-related drugs. There is an alarming rise in the incidence of enterococci (the streptococcus that is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections) resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin, often the last weapon for defeating these pathogens.

"Concerns over resistance have resulted in additional funding for new treatments specifically targeting resistant bacteria," said Elder. "Although this seems to be a solution on the surface, many developers are reluctant to follow this development path."

For more information on the anti-infectives market, see Kalorama Information's "Worldwide Market for Anti-Infectives (Antifungals, Antibacterials and Antivirals)" which covers both currently marketed and late stage development products. The report includes statistical information for infections by type worldwide, with special emphasis on the U.S. and Europe, market estimates and forecasts, and competitive analysis of leading providers. It is available at:

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