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Published on 18 September 2009

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More anti-superbug drugs needed in EU

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More drugs need to be developed to tackle superbugs such as MRSA, EU health agencies have warned.

About 25,000 Europeans die every year from multi-drug resistant bacteria, but only 15 new anti-bacterial drugs are under development, most in the early stages, according to a joint report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Medicines Agency.

At an EU health meeting about superbugs in Stockholm, the report urged European leaders to create strategies to address the problem, which costs society £1.35 billion (1.5 billion euro/$2.2 billion) a year.

Bo Aronson, from the European Medicines Agency, said: “Industry’s pipeline contains very few new antibiotics active against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Without stimulating research and development into new antibiotics, an increasing number of infected patients will be without effective treatment.”

People afflicted with hospital superbugs will be the most affected, said Dominique Monnet, a European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control researcher.

Some EU action plans have reduced cases of the most common superbug, MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, but researchers have said few new drugs are tackling the growing number of multi-drug resistant strains of another type of bacteria, so-called gram-negatives, which include a resistant version of intestines bug E. coli.

Copyright Press Association 2009



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