Nikos Sypsas for multi-resistant microbes: “We lose patients from the lack of antibiotics”

‘ Fear and terror” is for doctors the multi-resistant as scientists in Greece knock on the door of danger for the lack of effective drugs. There are diseases, for which there are currently no effective ones, are supported by infectors. Some antibiotics have now been put out of service, others are very expensive and imported from abroad with the “dropper” via IFET, while old effective treatments that fight germs (e.g. simple penicillin) are no longer imported by companies as they have a very low price and their production is not in the best interest. Speaking at on the margins of the recent 23rd Panhellenic Conference of the Hellenic Society of Infections, the Professor of Lomeology at the School of Medicine of the CRF, Nicholas Sypsas, broadcasts SOS signal as he argues that doctors lose patients through their hands, because they do not have effective “weapons”. “Imagine now to make a leukemic patient a treatment e.g. with CAR T-cell, a treatment costing 300,000 euros, the treatment to succeed and lose him to an endo-homical germ because you don’t have a medicine that costs 3 euros. Well, you don’t have one. It’s absurd. That is why we should have these drugs,” the doctor notes. Nicholas Sypsas: The three different cases of drug deficiencies According to Professor Sypsa, there is a synthetic antibiotic of the monobaccatam group, axtreonam, which is irreplaceable and effectively competes with the multi-resistant endo-hospital microbes. This is a very cheap drug, which is in a global shortage because companies no longer have financial interest in producing it. “It is very old antibiotic, but in some cases it is our only choice,” says Professor Sypsas. The same category as axtreonam belongs to penicillin, which companies also do not bring to Greece because of low profitability. Apart from cheap drugs, some very important new innovative drugs have been released in recent months, but these are very expensive. One of these is the valuable kefithercool. “Cefiderocol is an innovative drug, which is one of the few options we have to combat the acineteobacter we have in our Units. But it is a very expensive medicine,” says Mr. Sypsas and continues: “In order to ensure these medicines for our patients today, since we consider that we need them, we must order them from the IFT and come from abroad. This, however, is a very time-consuming process that the patient has usually “missed the train” until the drugs come from abroad,” he notes. What the nurses suggest To solve the above very serious problem the scientists of the Greek Society of Infections have prepared their proposals, which they will submit to the political leadership of the Ministry of Health, at a meeting they will have in the coming days with the Minister of Health, Adoni Georgiadis. These proposals, according to the information provided by, are the following: a list of antibiotics that are in short supply for “the purpose of creating a stock of these drugs in our country, so that doctors have direct access to them at the time they are needed”, says N.Sypsas, the old and cheap medicines whose protection patent has expired for many years, scientists ask the Ministry of Health, to give incentives to the Greek Pharmacopoeia industry to produce them locally. Commenting on these proposals, Professor Nicholas Sypsas notes: “We propose, or create a stockpile of these drugs in our country, or motivate Greek pharmaceutical companies to make them. Because these drugs are patent-free and a Greek company can produce the raw material and the medicine. But it must have an economic incentive and not fall into a clawback so that companies can produce them,” he points out. According to the specialist, many countries have advanced these solutions to ensure that antibiotics are adequate for their patients. “Some countries, but France and Spain produce these antibiotics locally for their own needs. So that’s one more reason why IFT has a great deal of difficulty tracking and importing these drugs. These drugs must be removed from the general system and entered into a special regime so that there are incentives for companies,” concludes the scientist. First in prevalence of hospital infections in ICUs The over-consumption of antibiotics in Greece takes place both within the community and within hospitals. It is typical that one in four Greeks is guarding some antibiotic in his home… for emergency! According to the comparative results of the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) the Greek consumption of antibiotics is twice as high as the other European countries, from 2009 to 2020, with smaller consumptions found in the northern countries of Europe. Greece and 2023 maintained its sad lead, among the countries of Europe, in terms of the abuse of antibiotics and the highest rates of resistance of antibiotics, both in the community – with up to six-fold rates of antibiotic consumption compared to other European countries – and in hospitals, where drugs of the last generation such as carbapenonems have now lost their activity in the face of the engulfment of polyresistant microbes, according to ECDC data. The over-consumption of antibiotics has created germs such as Klebsiella and Acinetobacter, multi-resistant to carbapenonems, resulting in empirically administered (i.e. without crop confirmation) even the last active group of antibiotics, in order to risk its use. Scientists are concerned and do not rule out the 2015 English prophecy, that after 2050 they will die every year at a global level of 10 million people from infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. Finally, it should be noted that in 2019, 1.27 million people died because of the multi-tolerance, while for another 4.95 million their deaths were attributed to the multi-resistant microbes. In Europe, at least for 2020, polyresistant infections exceeded 800,000, causing 35,000 deaths.