The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon MRPharmS FFRPS
Project Lead for Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group

Consider this scenario. Your younger child has been awake all night, crying with earache. They’re upset and tired, and so are you. Your older child had a flu bug last week, and you have already taken three days off work to look after them. You’ll take the little one to the doctor in the morning and get antibiotics to clear it up. You’ll probably have to pester the GP for them, but you’ll do it so your child feels better quickly and you can go back to work sooner.

In addition to being really worried about our little ones, as parents, we also have to cope with the guilt of being away from work for too long, and for many parents this is unpaid leave.
The sight of a poorly child is an upsetting one. The hope that antibiotics will reduce the time our children suffer with pain, sometimes means that exhausted and worried parents demand a prescription for antibiotics, even though the GP didn’t really think they were necessary. Read more The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria

How can pharmacists fight antibiotic resistance?

jaynelawrenceby Professor Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientist, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Antibiotic resistance occurs when medicines are no longer effective in treating bacterial infections. This is potentially catastrophic, as much of modern medicine would become impossible without antibiotics.  Simple infections would become life-threatening and common surgery would become unsafe.  Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, yet they are often used to treat them. Pharmacists are on the frontline of fighting antibiotic resistance, but how can we make a difference in practice? Read more How can pharmacists fight antibiotic resistance?

A global approach to antibiotic resistance

Picture Harpal Dhillon Chair RPS AMR groupBy Harpal Dhillon, Chair of the RPS Antimicrobial Expert Advisory Group

Bringing any new drug to market is a time consuming, costly and high-risk endeavour that typically takes 10 years, at an average development cost of about $1.3 billion U.S.

Even then, only one in five drugs tested in people is approved and reaches the market.  For antibiotics, the economic considerations are more challenging than for many other medical areas.  In addition to the unique scientific and regulatory challenges in antibiotic development, pricing and reimbursement do not reflect the true value of these life-saving drugs. Read more A global approach to antibiotic resistance

Funding new medicines

jaynelawrenceby Professor Jayne Lawrence, RPS Chief Scientist

Without pharmaceutical science, we would have no new medicines. Neither would it be possible to improve existing medicines, or understand how we could better use our existing medicines.

Those working in pharmaceutical science play a pivotal role in the discovery, design, formulation, manufacture, regulation and use of medicines with the ultimate goal of improving the health of patients.

The challenges and opportunities faced when creating new medicines, improving existing ones or ensuring the better, safe use of medicines are set out in New Medicines, Better Medicines, Better Use of Medicines, a new guide to pharmaceutical science published today by the RPS. Read more Funding new medicines