FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — There is considerable variability in the geographic availability of antibiotics, according to a study published online Oct. 16 in PLOS ONE.

Cecilia Kållberg, from the University of Oslo in Norway, and colleagues examined geographic availability and market introduction of antibiotics, considered new chemical entities (NCEs) for systemic use, approved globally between 1999 and 2014.

The researchers found that 12 of the 25 identified NCEs had registered sales in more than 10 countries. NCEs with the widest geographic availability had registered sales in more than 70 countries within a 10-year timeframe and 30 countries within a three-year timeframe. Fifty-two percent of the NCEs had an indication for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria; regarding target pathogen and indication, there was little diversity. Greater geographic availability was seen for antibiotics that originated from and/or were marketed by companies from the United States or Europe compared with those from Japan, which rarely reached outside Asia. Twenty NCE developers fully or partially sublicensed marketing rights to a number of different-sized companies.

“Prior to this study, little was known about the geographic distribution and availability of antibiotics following market introduction,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We found that many new antibiotics fail to go beyond a few countries and are therefore not available in many countries where the need is greatest.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the DRIVE-AB Consortium.

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