Visualization Series: Retail sales of carbapenem antibiotics to treat Gram-negative bacteria in India and Pakistan

21 Mar 2012
Andrea Titus

Please note that we revised this graphic on 4/6/2012.  The original graphic mistakenly included faropenem, a penem antibiotic, in the calculation of carbapenem sales.  The corrected graphic is below.  Read more here.

Carbapenem antibiotics are powerful drugs, and often a last line of defense against resistant bacterial infections.  Our newest visualization shows trends in retail sales of carbapenems across five regions, 2005-2010 (caption below).  

Carbapenems are powerful IV antibiotics, typically used as a "last resort" to treat serious infections caused by multi-drug resistant, gram-negative pathogens. This graph shows trends in retail carbapenem dispensing - that is, vials and preparations purchased in pharmacies outside hospitals, and administered in the outpatient setting. In developed countries, such use is warranted only in limited contexts – for example when outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is indicated.  The high price of carbapenems puts them out of reach for many in low-resource settings, including French West Africa. Nevertheless, sales in India and Pakistan are rising due to widespread over-the-counter availability of antibiotics.  In the absence of regulations, carbapenem use may often be unnecessary, leading to concerns about the emergence of resistant organisms that are nearly impossible to treat.

 Note: "French West Africa" includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Togo.

Download the graphic from the Tools section of our website.

Image credit: Flickr: ialla

Antibiotic Resistance