Analysts expect antibiotics market to slide as blockbusters fade

Pharma's weakening interest in antibiotics has been well documented. Now Datamonitor says in a new report that Big Pharma is shunning the development of oral antibiotic blockbusters as it stays focused on next-gen IV treatments to fight off MRSA and other superbug infections which afflict hospitalized patients.

With few new product launches in the works and generic competition growing, the analysts at Datamonitor expect to see revenue in the field slide from $19.6 billion in 2009 to about $16.4 billion in 2019, according to an AP report. Two years ago there were three antibiotic blockbusters on the market. But near the end of this decade the analysts say there will likely be only two available--Levaquin and Cubicin--which will be able to garner more than $500 million in sales.

Over the past year researchers and drug developers have united to call on the U.S. government and regulators to provide a fresh set of market incentives as well as a clarified development path to help advance a new generation of antibiotics. Those incentives are badly needed, they say, to compensate for the weak margins available for new antibiotics.

- here's the story from the AP