Fighting Infectious Disease
America’s biopharmaceutical companies are developing nearly 400 new medicines for infectious diseases.
Infectious diseases were the leading cause of death in the United States until the 1920s.
Today, vaccines and antimicrobials have proven to effectively treat and prevent many diseases and conditions, but infectious diseases and the emerging resistance of pathogens that cause disease still pose a very serious threat to patients. Critical challenges remain in the battle against infectious diseases, particularly as bacteria and viruses develop resistance to current medicines and as the threat of bioterrorism grows.
Antibacterial resistance is becoming an increasingly common problem, and is considered one of the world’s most critical public health threats. Fortunately, new knowledge and technologies, the ongoing commitment of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies and partners in the innovation ecosystem, and continued regulatory flexibility can help fight the continuing—and ever-changing—threat from infectious diseases.
2+ Million Afflicted
Throughout history, infectious diseases have taken a devastating toll on the lives and well-being of people around the world. Today, antibiotic resistant infections affect more than 2 million Americans annually, costing $55 billion in the United States each year.Learn more
Innovation in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS is perhaps the best example of the incredible progress combatting infectious diseases in recent decades. The discovery and development of new treatments have turned HIV infection from a death sentence into a chronic disease for those who have access to medicines. In the U.S. alone, death rates have fallen more than 80 percent since 1995 as a result of the development and introduction of multiple drugs used in innovative combinations, known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Nearly half of antibiotics are unnecessarily or inappropriately prescribed. Now, some infectious pathogens have become resistant to available treatments. Diseases once considered conquered, such as tuberculosis, have reemerged as a growing health threat.
23,000 Deaths Annually
Antibacterials are one of the most important tools we have to combat life-threatening bacterial diseases. However, antibacterial resistance is becoming an increasingly common problem, resulting in over 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year among Americans. This issue has been a concern for years and is considered one of the world’s most critical public health threats.Learn more
Medicines in the Pipeline
America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 394 new medicines to help fight the continuing threat from infectious diseases.
Noxafil® (posaconazole) was approved for the prevention of invasive fungal infections caused by Aspergillus and Candida in patients 13 years of age and older who are at high risk of developing these infections due to being severely immunocompromised. It is the first and only antifungal approved by the FDA for the prevention of invasive fungal infections caused by Aspergillus. Invasive fungal infections most often occur in people who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed and are increasingly caused by molds such as Aspergillus.
Mycamine™ (micafungin sodium for injection), an antifungal, was approved for the prevention of Candida infections in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the treatment of esophageal candidiasis. The medicine is a member of a new class of antifungal agents called echinocandins, which specifi cally targets the wall of fungal cells to treat the infection.
Victrelis™ (boceprevir) is a fi rst-in-class medicine approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in combination with interferon therapy for those with compensated liver disease. Victrelis is a hepatitis C protease inhibitor, which works by inhibiting a key viral enzyme and preventing the virus from multiplying.
Intelence™ (etravirine) is the fi rst non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) to show antiviral activity in patients with NNRTI-resistant virus. It was approved for the treatment of HIV infection, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, in treatment-experienced adult patients who have evidence of viral replication and resistance to NNRTI and other antiretroviral agents.
View and download resources that provide more information on the medicines in development to fight infectious diseases:
View the full 2013 report on medicines in development for infectious diseases.
Visit PhRMA's Press Room to read the media release on medicines in development for infectious diseases
View PhRMA's infographics on infectious diseases
View PhRMA's infographic on Innovation Hub about forthcoming medicines that can halt the progression of hepatitis C.
Twenty-Five Years of Progress Against Hepatitis C
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