An observation has been published in the BMJ this week suggesting that the overuse of antibiotics is a social problem and we need to reverse our dependance on antibiotics regardless of the discovery of new drugs.
Social aspects of antibiotic overuse identified include:
The ways farmers, vets, and regulatory systems manage livestock production for human consumption
How regulatory and fiscal frameworks incentivise or deter antimicrobial development, production, and use
How the public and healthcare professionals understand, value, and use antimicrobials
The context in which animals and humans interact, and
The ways in which particular groups of people are exposed to particular microbial infections.
The author suggests that increasing social science research may be an important part of reducing our dependance on antibiotics along with research into new drugs.
The full text is available from http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2682