Antibiotics and Innovation

The history of antibiotics has repeated itself: drugs are discovered, but bacterial evolution can soon render them ineffective in treating infections. Resistance is fueled by injudicious use of existing drugs and compounded by a failure to develop novel new ones. Many major pharmaceutical companies have limited their investments in this antibiotic innovation, and only two new classes of these substances have reached the market in the past 30 years.

Pew’s work on antibiotics and innovation develops and supports policies that will spur innovation of new antibiotics to fight infections today and to ensure a healthy nation in the future.

Our Work

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  • Getting Smarter: A Year of Action on Antibiotics

    Each November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observes Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, a campaign to raise awareness of the escalating threat of antibiotic resistance and the measures that people can take to preserve the effectiveness of these critical drugs. Since last year’s Get Smart week, policymakers and other stakeholders in the U.S. and abroad have... Read More

  • Tracking the Pipeline of Antibiotics in Development

    Drug-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, present a serious and worsening threat to human health. According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, 2 million Americans acquire serious infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, and 23,000 of them die.1  Doctors routinely encounter patients with infections that do not respond to available treatment, and when new... Read More

  • Antibiotics Currently in Clinical Development

    As of September 2014, there are at least 38 new antibiotics with the potential to treat serious bacterial infections in clinical development for the U.S. market. The success rate for drug development is low; at best, only 1 in 5 candidates that enter human testing will be approved for patients.  Read More

Media Contact

Linda Paris

Officer, Communications