The passage given below is followed by a question. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.
Today we are faced with the harsh reality that the treatment or prevention of infectious diseases has not made quantum advances since the early successes of vaccines and antimicrobial therapies. In a sense, the world is headed backward, as once-treatable microbes become resistant to existing therapies, and new infections for which there are no effective interventions continue to arise. This situation represents a serious and imminent threat to the world.
The emergence of a highly lethal and rapidly spreading antimicrobial- resistant infection would lead to untold numbers of deaths and unimaginable misery. The consequences could be similar in magnitude to a large-scale terrorist attack. Communities could be walled off, national borders closed, and travel could be restricted or even suspended. Health systems could disintegrate or collapse, as could economies. The possibility of such an apocalyptic scenario suggests that the threat of infectious diseases is among the most important challenges that humankind faces. It is not just a public health risk; it is a threat to national and global security. Thus, it must be met with a comprehensive and effective solution.
The research and development required to produce new medicines or vaccines is time-consuming, often taking more than a dozen years. It is also very expensive, costing hundreds of millions of dollars for every new product. Moreover, there is no guarantee of success; indeed, for each successful product, there are as many as nine equally promising candidates that fail. Given the risks involved, it is not surprising that pharmaceutical companies are very careful in their choice of investments in new drug or vaccine programs, selecting only those that promise financial gains sufficient to cover the costs of both successes and failures and provide a reasonable return on the required investment.
Almost every country is prepared to channel a large percentage of its GDP toward investments in national defense or security. The global threat of emerging or resistant infections must be viewed first and foremost in that context, with all countries committed to providing financing, intellectual capital, and available resources to support the discovery, development, manufacture, stockpiling, and equitable distribution of new antimicrobial agents and vaccines. Unless countries recognize the risks they face, they are unlikely to make such a commitment. It goes without saying that this would be a complicated undertaking, with many details to be worked out. But somehow we must suspend disbelief and take action now, lest we be caught off-guard against an imminent global threat. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose.
Q.In the passage, which of the following is/are obstacles faced by pharmaceuticals?
A. Bottlenecks in development and production of new medicines and vaccines
B. Constraints in raising capital for research and development
C. Availability of skilled workers and competent scientists to develop new medicines and vaccines