Solving the Over-Use of Antibiotics

Used as an additive in livestock feed, neem com­petes with the more widely used artificially for­mu­lated antibiotics in agriculture. The ease with which the lat­ter is pre­scribed to livestock is result­ing in rapidly grow­ing lev­els of antibi­otic resis­tance in the global population; a sit­u­a­tion that is being com­pounded by a slow-down in new antibi­otic drug devel­op­ment.

In 2013, out of the 506 new drugs in devel­op­ment in the US, only five were new antibi­otics. Two years ear­lier, none of the 89 new med­ica­tions that emerged were antibi­otics. The lack of prof­itabil­ity and devel­op­ment time of new antibi­otics, com­pared with other drugs, is a major hin­drance for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

Neem’s effec­tive­ness as an alternative antibiotic in livestock feed is strength­ened as it does not dis­rupt the body’s nat­ural ecol­ogy. Unlike antibi­otics, neem fights bac­te­ria with­out caus­ing resis­tance over time.