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World Health Organization: The World Is Running Out Of Antibiotics

FORT SMITH (KFSM)- The World Health Organization (WHO) released a new report saying when it comes to antibiotics, too few are in development and it's likely people's resistance to antibiotics will surpass the amount of medication being tested.

The new study shows a serious lack of antibiotics being developed to help fight the threat of antimicrobial resistance or antibiotics not working.

"When you're taking an antibiotic, you're trying to kill a bacteria and that's a live organism and what's it trying to do?," Keith Larkin, pharmacist, MediSav said. "It's in survival of the fittest to stay alive, so it does that by mutating and changing, so it becomes resistant to the antibiotic."

The issue health experts are now seeing includes production, as well as the price tag to create those drugs, which reaches more than $200 million.

"Part of the reason is they ran out of chemicals to work on," Larkin said. "They're working on semi-synthetic, but probably the other thing is return on investment."

Now, pharmacies and doctors everywhere are seeing the changes.

"You can see the section seems to be a smaller section," Larkin said. "Part of that is because the antibiotic, we haven't had a new on in 20 years."

The shortage of antibiotics is happening around the world, but pharmacists right here in our area said you'll see those affects the next time you go to the doctor.

"As many people have seen over the last two or three years, many go to the doctor and when they leave, they come out with nasal spray and maybe an antihistamine to treat the symptoms, not the antibiotic they think is going to know it out," Larkin said. "That's good. They don't want to take an antibiotic if they don't need it, because there is the potential for resistance to start to occur."

Experts said you may also start to see biologics replace antibiotics as they work to find solutions to the resistance problem.

WHO said the medicines now being used as treatment will serve as short term solutions, but the need for them will eventually outpace the available amount.

For the full report from WHO, click here.