Antibiotic Market Fails to Protect Patients with Cancer, Expert Says

Despite significant concerns from many oncologists regarding the effects of drug resistant bacteria, many pharmaceutical companies have recently stopped developing antibiotics.

Ninety-five percent of oncologists reported that they worry about drug resistant bacteria, or superbugs, hurting their patients.1 Furthermore, 1 in 10 cancer deaths are the result of sepsis, and not the cancer itself. Despite this, the number of large pharmaceutical companies researching antibiotics has dropped from 8 to 2 between the years 2014 and 2020, according to data from an infographic release by Pew.

David Hyun, MD, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Project with Pew Charitable Trusts, recently spoke with Oncology Nursing News® on how the market is not designed to promote antibiotic research and development, and why revitalizing the antibiotic pipeline is essential to continue ensuring the safety of patients, particularly for patients with cancer.

The Antibiotic Resistance Project aims to help promote policies that will encourage the research and development of antibiotics. The objectives of the project include removing regulatory, economic, and scientific obstacles that impede antibiotic research and development, as well as to establish stewardship programs in hospitals to guarantee that antibiotics are prescribed appropriately.


PEW. Broken antibiotics market puts cancer treatments at risk. February 17, 2021. Accessed July 2, 2021.

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