Unregulated antibiotic sales may increase risk of “superbugs”: UK review

To match Special Report ANTIBIOTICS/By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – Global growth of unregulated over-the-counter and Internet sales of precious antibiotic medicines is further fuelling the rise of deadly, drug-resistant "superbug" bacteria, according to a UK government-commissioned review. In recent decades, bacteria resistant to multiple drugs have evolved at the same time as drugmakers have cut back investment in finding new ways to fight them, creating a global health threat as superbug strains of infections like tuberculosis and gonorrhea have become untreatable. In a report published on Friday amid international alarm about the discovery in China of a gene that makes bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics, former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O'Neill said the threat is exacerbated by patients self-medicating with drugs from online pharmacies.

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