Antibiotic use not only underpins modern medicine, but has brought huge changes to the world, especially in expectations of survival of children into adulthood. The theme of World Health Day, 2011, was “antimicrobial resistance: no action today and no cure tomorrow”. The demise of antibacterial drug discovery brings the spectre of untreatable infections. To prevent this crisis immediate action is needed and a new initiative, Antibiotic Action, has been launched. By bringing together communities who need these drugs with academia, health-care professionals, and pharmaceutical companies, this initiative aims to strengthen and enhance academic-industrial partnerships, bring about revision of costly and laborious processes of licensing and regulation of new antibiotics, and address the economics of antimicrobial drugs (cost of use vs profit). A global alliance for antibiotic drug discovery and development would provide a platform for these initiatives.

Via Manuel Sánchez