MEDICINE: Counterattack: How Drugmakers Are Fighting Back

Doctors and the public were not alone in feeling cocky about infectious disease a decade ago. The drug companies did too. More than 100 antibiotics were on the market, and they had most bacterial diseases on the run, if not on the verge of eradication. So rosy was the outlook that U.S. government funding & for antibiotic research was declining, and many pharmaceutical firms were focusing on cancer and viral diseases, especially AIDS.

Observes George Miller, a microbiologist at the Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, New Jersey: "What we in the pharmaceutical industry had been doing was to take existing classes...

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