Antibiotics: a cure for the common cold?

An Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry has shown that 74% of the public believe that a major research and development effort is needed to create new antibiotics for fighting infectious disease.

An Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry has shown that 74% of the public believe that a major research and development effort is needed to create new antibiotics for fighting infectious disease.

In the face of an antibiotic apocalypse caused by rising antimicrobial resistance, 63% of the public believe that research and development efforts should be carried out with support from a combination of public and private finances.

The poll, commissioned to mark the opening events of Chemistry Week 2013 and European Antibiotics Awareness Day, also highlights an alarming lack of awareness among members of the public that there has been no development of the classes of antibiotics needed to fight so-called "superbugs" in the last three decades. 2,033 participants were interviewed across GB - half (1013) were asked whether they agreed with the statement: 'There have been no new classes of antibiotics developed for approximately 30 years'. Only one in four people agreed (25%) when phrased in this way.

The other half (1020) were posed the statement: 'There have been many new classes of antibiotics developed in the last 30 years' - 50% of participants agreed.

Technical note

The research was conducted on Capibus, Ipsos MORI's face to face omnibus, between 25th October and 7th November 2013. Questions were asked of 2033 adults aged 15+ across GB. Results are weighted to ensure the sample was representative of this profile. 

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