“Pharmaceuticas companies don´t want people to get better”


American chemist Thomas Steitz said that "many large pharmaceutical companies terminated their research on antibiotics because these drugs cured people”

MADRID .- Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Thomas Steitz, announced today in Madrid that pharmaceutical companies don´t conduct research on effective antibiotics and added that "they don´t want people to get better."

They prefer to focus their business on medications that must be taken throughout a lifetime, said Steitz, who added that "many of the big pharmaceutical companies closed their research on antibiotics precisely because these were a cure for people."

He is a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Yale University, and previously attended the Madrid International Congress of Crystallography (to study the ordered structure of atoms in natural crystals).

In the case of tuberculosis, Steitz asserted that research operations should seek a new antibiotic to fight resistant strains of disease that exist predominantly in southern Africa.

The scientist told a press conference that the development of this medicine requires a large financial investment and the cooperation of a large pharmaceutical company in order to advance the research.

"We found it very difficult to find a pharmaceutical company who was willing to work with us, because for these companies to sell antibiotics in countries like South Africa does not generate much profit and so they prefer to invest in drugs that must be taken over a lifetime," he stated.

Currently, according to Steitz, these new antibiotics will be "just a dream, a hope, until someone is willing to finance the work."

Steitz and Enrique Gutierrez-Puebla and Martin Ripoll, Spanish researchers at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), called on all the countries to invest more in science. They believe that the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics will require constant research for an indefinite time.