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Web Date: January 25, 2018

Firms ranked for efforts to fight antibiotic resistance

GSK, J&J called tops for their R&D, manufacturing practices
Department: Business
Keywords: Antibiotics, drug resistance, GSK, Mylan
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A stream in the Patancheru industrial park in India, where antibiotic producers have been accused of releasing antibiotics into the environment.
Credit: Jean-François Tremblay/C&EN
Photo of a stream in the Patancheru industrial park in India.
 
A stream in the Patancheru industrial park in India, where antibiotic producers have been accused of releasing antibiotics into the environment.
Credit: Jean-François Tremblay/C&EN

Two reports—one from a nonprofit and one from an industry group—detail progress made by the drug industry to combat antimicrobial resistance through new products, better environmental management, and improved sales practices.

GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Mylan, and Cipla are the drugmakers leading the fight against antimicrobial resistance, according to a new ranking published by the nonprofit Access to Medicine. The report, which was financed largely by the British and Dutch governments, notes that 28 new antibiotics have reached the late stages of development.

The Access to Medicine study ranks drug makers for their efforts to develop new antibiotics, curb overuse, and implement production and sourcing systems that help prevent environmental releases of antibiotics.

Among innovators, GSK came out on top for its research efforts, for not tying the performance of its salespeople to quantities sold, and for its manufacturing and sourcing practices. The nonprofit ranked J&J in second place for its sizable tuberculosis R&D effort.

Generic drug makers produce most antibiotics, Access to Medicine noted. Among them, Mylan and Cipla are leaders in preventing antimicrobial resistance, partly because of their use of strategies to prevent environmental risk.

Two other generics producers, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Sun Pharma, were called out for disclosing limited information about their antiresistance efforts. Firms such as Aspen, Aurobindo, and Lupin were chastised for not reporting on environmental stewardship.

Separately, the industry group, AMR Industry Alliance, released a study highlighting the industry’s achievements. It points out that drug companies spent $2 billion on antibiotics research in 2016. Formed in 2016, AMR Industry Alliance includes about 100 drug companies.

Both the nonprofit and the industry group note that much remains to be done. AMR Industry Alliance points out that drug resistance kills 700,000 people annually worldwide. Access to Medicine, meanwhile, stresses that producers aren’t open about how much antibiotics they release into the environment during production.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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