Monday, October 28, 2013

'We've reached the end of antibiotics'

Top CDC expert declares that 'miracle drugs' that have saved millions are no match against 'superbugs' because people have overmedicated themselves

By Snejana Farberov, 26 October 2013

A high-ranking official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared in an interview with PBS that the age of antibiotics has come to an end.  'For a long time, there have been newspaper stories and covers of magazines that talked about "The end of antibiotics, question mark?"' said Dr Arjun Srinivasan. 'Well, now I would say you can change the title to "The end of antibiotics, period.”'

The associate director of the CDC sat down with Frontline over the summer for a lengthy interview about the growing problem of antibacterial resistance.   Srinivasan, who is also featured in a Frontline report called 'Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria,' which aired Tuesday, said that both humans and livestock have been overmedicated to such a degree that bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics.....Srinivasan added that pharmaceutical companies are at least partially to blame for this problem, saying that they have neglected the development of new and more sophisticated antibiotics that could keep up with bacterial resistance because ‘there’s not much money to be made’in this field......To ReadMore.....

My Take - This claim about over-medicating has been heard forever. Resistance to antibiotics in bacteria is part of a natural occurring cycle, just as resistance to pesticides is in insects. As for over medicating animals and that being the real cause for hastening resistance, that isn't universally accepted. As for "over medicating" humans; what were doctors supposed to do? Let people die?   However, this was inevitable, no matter what anyone claims. No one can predict when it will happen or with which bacteria it will happen, but it is part of nature's cycle, and resistance is inevitable, and all these sayings about bacterial resistance being caused by mutations....hogwash!   Resistance is a genetic phenomenon built into the biology of all things.

But the thing that really slays me is the statement that pharmaceutical companies bear a substantial part of the blame for not working to develop new antibiotics or technology to overcome this because it isn't profitable enough. Whose fault is that?

A few years back the pharmaceutical companies were being brow beat by countries with social medicine programs all over the world to make their drugs available at little or no cost, and in some countries wanted the formula to manufacture them for themselves. Some even demanded the patent rights to manufacture these products on their own and sell them to other countries.  And those who should have been standing up to these extrotionists jumped on board for applause from the media and the socialists.

I was invited to the world premiere of 3 Billion and Counting a few years ago and had the opportunity to meet people involved in these kinds of humanitarian efforts and I pointed out that in these cases 'greed is good', because if there's no money there's no product. Naturally the question came up about what about the poor countries and poor people who can't afford these new expensive drugs that save lives.  I commented that although every decent person has to feel empathy for those people, the real question is what would happen if these new drugs are never developed in the first place. Although millions may die due to lack of funding, millions more will be saved because these life saving products were developed in the first place and eventually the product will go out of patent and millions more will be saved.  

Whether it's cars or medicine..........If there is no money there is no product.  That's why the United States has led the world in discovering most of the new medicines.  It's worth it here.  Let's stop insisting on Godlike perfection from imperfect humanity.  No one can offer perfection, so the best we can hope for is the most acceptable imperfection.  Get over it!

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