Nearly all important bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics. Drug-resistant strains of diseases have made development of new antibiotics a public health priority. Every year, more than 23,000 people in the U.S. die from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Consequently, FDA often gives new antibiotics priority review. Under a so-called "non-inferiority" process often used for new antibiotics, a new drug can get approved if it isn't statistically far worse than an existing drug. Unfortunately, some of the drugs approved by the FDA under this process have not been as effective as hoped and have caused harmful effects.
 FDA, Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance, 05/06/2013.
 Burton, T. "A Low Bar for Some New Antibiotics", The Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2014).
 FDA Drug Safety Communication, "FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage from antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or injection," 08/15/2013.
Increasing Antiobiotic Resistant Gram-negative Bacterial Infections Pose Serious Threats to Patients
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What Is Antibiotic Resistance?
Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply. Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics (e.g. taking antibiotics for viral infections, not finishing a prescribed dose) are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria. While antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial infections, they are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, most sore throats, and the flu. Widespread use of antibiotics promotes the spread of antibiotic resistance. Smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of resistance.