Two drugs that combat superbugs are being introduced on the NHS, offering a lifeline to thousands of patients with deadly infections such as sepsis which fail to respond to antibiotics.
About 65,000 people a year in the UK develop drug-resistant infections and 12,000 die, many after routine operations or from infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections.
These superbugs such as MRSA have mutated to develop resistance to many different types of antibiotics as a result of overuse of the drugs. It means patients end up dying from common infections that would previously have been easily treatable with antibiotics.
In a attempt to “turn the tide” on antibiotic resistance, the NHS has announced a deal for two drugs, cefiderocol and ceftazidime–avibactam, which can kill bacteria that is resistant to many other types of drugs.
The drugs, manufactured by Shionogi and Pfizer respectively, will save the lives of about 1,700 patients a year. They will be offered to patients with conditions such as drug-resistant pneumonia, sepsis or tuberculosis who have run out of other treatment options.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said this would make the UK a world leader in tackling “the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance”.
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Source: The Times, 15 June 2022