Addressing Drug-Resistant Infections: The Urgent Need for Emergency Use Authorization

Addressing Drug-Resistant Infections: The Urgent Need for Emergency Use Authorization


The urgent requirement for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for essential antibiotics that can make a profound difference between life and death and the remarkable case of an 18-year-old leukemia patient fighting against Extensively Drug Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa that  serves as a poignant reminder of the dire situation faced by doctors and the need for timely access to effective antibiotics.


GS-02, GS-03 (Health)


  • AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) and initiatives related to Drug resistance.

Mains Questions:

  • Discuss the significance of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for essential antibiotics in combating drug-resistant infections. How can timely access to effective antibiotics impact the lives of critically ill patients? (150 words)


  • Antibiotics are powerful drugs that can eliminate harmful organisms within the body without causing harm to the host. They play a vital role in various medical procedures, such as preventing infections during surgeries and safeguarding cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • India’s Antibiotic Consumption: India holds the distinction of being the largest consumer of antibiotics globally. However, the excessive usage of antibiotics in India has resulted in the emergence of a previously unseen and potent mutation within bacteria.
  • Drug Resistance: Drug resistance occurs when antibiotics are overused in the treatment of humans, animals, and plants. Initially, when a new antibiotic is introduced, it can be highly effective and even life-saving. However, over time, bacteria adapt and gradually become less susceptible to the antibiotics’ effects.
  • Impact of Antibiotic Resistance: Antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat at all stages of life. When individuals are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, not only does their treatment become more challenging, but these bacteria can also spread to others. This leads to the emergence of more complicated diseases, the need for stronger and costlier drugs, and an increase in deaths caused by bacterial infections.
  • Global Spread of Antibiotic Resistance: The worldwide spread of antibiotic resistance undermines the progress made over decades in combatting bacterial infections. It jeopardizes the effectiveness of existing treatments and necessitates the development of new strategies to tackle this growing threat.

Dimensions of the article:

  • The Grave Reality of Drug-Resistant Infections.
  • Recognizing the Urgency: Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA).
  • The Indian Innovation: Cefepime/Zidebactam.
  • Strengthening the Arsenal: Cefiderocol’s Role

The Grave Reality of Drug-Resistant Infections

  • Infection specialists, intensivists, and doctors treating severe infections witness the distressing reality of patients succumbing to infections due to the ineffectiveness of available antibiotics against rising resistance.
  • The constant race against mutating bacteria and the shrinking arsenal of effective antibiotics add immense pressure and helplessness for doctors on the front lines.

Recognizing the Urgency: Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA)

  • The survival of patients facing drug-resistant infections hinges upon the availability of potent antibiotics.
  • EUA for antibiotics currently in phase 3 trials or licensed from other countries becomes crucial in ensuring timely access to effective treatments. By granting EUA, we can offer a lifeline to those in need and prevent unnecessary loss of lives.

The Indian Innovation: Cefepime/Zidebactam

  • Developed by Indian researchers, cefepime/zidebactam presents a promising solution to combat drug-resistant gram-negative pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • While still undergoing international phase 3 trials, this Indian innovation has demonstrated remarkable potential in saving lives.
  • Urgent EUA for cefepime/zidebactam can bring hope to patients nationwide and extend a helping hand globally.

Strengthening the Arsenal: Cefiderocol’s Role

  • Cefiderocol, a licensed antibiotic developed by a Japanese company, has shown excellent efficacy against drug-resistant infections. Despite its global recognition, its unavailability in India deprives patients of a life-saving antibiotic.
  • Immediate action is necessary to make cefiderocol accessible within the country, ensuring responsible utilization through collective decision-making by experienced doctors.

Way Forward:

To address the challenges posed by drug-resistant infections, urgent steps must be taken.

  • Granting EUA for cefepime/zidebactam, an Indian innovation, and cefiderocol, a globally recognized antibiotic, is imperative.
  • Responsible and appropriate utilization of these medications through expert consultation will optimize their benefits while minimizing the risk of misuse or overuse.


India, known for its scientific prowess, has the opportunity to make a substantial impact on the global stage by addressing drug-resistant infections. The immediate implementation of EUA for essential antibiotics, such as cefepime/zidebactam and cefiderocol, can empower doctors, restore hope, and save countless lives. The time to act is now, as we stand at a critical juncture where lives hang in the balance and effective treatments are desperately needed.