Addressing rising concerns of “superbugs,” plans have been proposed to push new antibiotics through the FDA process on a fast track. These new drugs would be designed specifically to fight infections resistant to exiting antibiotics — skipping tests usually required until after the drugs are already being used.
The New York Times reports that Dr. John H. Powers, a former F.D.A. antibiotics reviewer, worries that drug companies might have little incentive to broadly test such an antibiotic once it’s been approved for use on a small group. Unless safeguards are put in place, it might eventually be used in millions of people without full knowledge of side effects and long-term effects.