Dangerous shortage of essential antibiotics is all about $$Enlarge (credit: Getty | Roberto Machado Noa)
An international group of doctors and researchers is raising alarm this week over the growing scarcity of old, essential antibiotics—spurred largely by money.
These drugs are often the best option for treating patients by offering the safest, most targeted bacteria-busting capabilities while also helping to prevent germs from developing resistance to antibiotics.

The old drugs are also often helpful for thwarting infections that are already resistant to some antibiotics.

But because they are off-patent, they don’t turn a big profit.

And as such, drug companies have been limiting production and distribution, which harms patients worldwide, the experts point out in an editorial published Sunday in the journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infection.
In 2011, for instance, a review by the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases found that 22 of 33 aging antibiotics had limited availability.

Those 22 were marketed in fewer than 20 of a group of 38 countries examined, which included the US, Australia, and European countries. “Economic motives were the major reason for not marketing these antibiotics,” the authors noted.

And the distribution stats only got worse when researchers refreshed their review using data from 2015.
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