Forgotten Antibiotics: An Inventory in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia


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Abstract

In view of the alarming spread of antimicrobial resistance in the absence of new antibiotics, this study aimed at assessing the availability of potentially useful older antibiotics. A survey was performed in 38 countries among experts including hospital pharmacists, microbiologists, and infectious disease specialists in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. An international expert panel selected systemic antibacterial drugs for their potential to treat infections caused by resistant bacteria or their unique value for specific criteria. Twenty-two of the 33 selected antibiotics were available in fewer than 20 of 38 countries. Economic motives were the major cause for discontinuation of marketing of these antibiotics. Fourteen of 33 antibiotics are potentially active against either resistant Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. Urgent measures are then needed to ensure better availability of these antibiotics on a global scale.

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