Dry antibiotic pipeline concerns infectious disease experts

The Infectious Diseases Society of America has been beating the drum over a paucity of new antibiotic approvals. With drug developers lured by bigger margins in other disease categories, drug companies began bowing out of this field years ago, says the society. Between '88 and '92 there was an average of three new antibiotic approvals each year. But since 2003 that number has slipped to an average of one new approval a year as Aventis, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Proctor & Gamble, Roche and Wyeth have dropped out of the field or cut research efforts. As a result, physicians say, there are an increasing number of aggressive infections they can't treat.

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