The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The Emerging Threat of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Southern Africa: Global and Local Challenges and Solutions—Workshop Summary (2011)

Tuberculosis (TB) kills approximately 4,500 people worldwide every day. While most cases of TB can be treated with antibiotics, some strains have developed drug resistance that makes their treatment more expensive, more toxic, and less effective for the patient. The IOM Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and the Academy of Science of South Africa held a workshop to discuss ways to fight the growing threat of drug-resistant TB. This report summarizes the discussion at that workshop.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Major pharmaceutical companies have great interest in dedicating resources to the antibiotics market because these short-course drugs are more profitable than drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.

  • Correct!

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.