Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Amanda Perkins


Antibiotics have been heralded as one of the greatest contributions to modern medicine.

While antibiotics have been documented throughout many parts of the world, it was the discovery of penicillin in 1928 that marked the modern era of medicine.1 An antibiotic is a natural, semi-synthetic, or synthetic compound that interferes with the growth of, or results in the death of a microorganism, specifically bacteria.2 These medications are used to treat or prevent infection of humans or animals. With the advent of antibiotics, many infections that would cause significant morbidity and mortality were greatly reduced. The 1930s-1960s is regarded as the “golden age” of antibiotics, when most of the antibiotics still used today were created.2 Since then, there has been a dramatic slowing of antibiotic production. Several factors have contributed to this slowing, including their short-term nature which lowers their profit potential (compared to chronic disease medications), policies in place to reserve new antibiotics for use when current antibiotics fail, and increased regulations regarding antibiotic production. These factors have effectively dissuaded pharmaceutical companies from investing in novel antibiotics.3 For example, in 2004, only 1.6% of drugs in clinical development by the world’s fifteen largest pharmaceutical companies were antibiotics. Contrasted, antimicrobials account for more than 30% of hospital pharmacy budgets in the US.


SC 11.PAS.2019.Sherman.B