As more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, "common infections could become deadly, according to" WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who spoke on Wednesday at a conference titled "Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Time for Action" in Copenhagen, ABC News reports. "'Some experts say we are moving back to the pre-antibiotic era. No. This will be a post-antibiotic era. In terms of new replacement antibiotics, the pipeline is virtually dry,' said Chan. 'A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill,'" the news service notes (Moisse, 3/16).
According to CBS News' "Health Pop" blog, "The problem is many drug companies see no point in investing to develop better antimicrobial drugs because they will just be rendered ineffective in a few years because of overuse." Chan "said that doctors need to prescribe antibiotics appropriately and only when necessary," governments and companies need to regulate "how much antibiotics are used in food production, and more needs to be done to stop substandard and counterfeit medications," the news service writes (Castillo, 3/16).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.