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The Last Antibiotic: Drug Companies Run Out of Weapons Against the Very Same Superbugs They Helped Create

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Appetite For a Change page.

 The age of antibiotics is over. It's history. There are no more patented chemical antibiotics in the pipeline. The drug companies have all but abandoned antibiotics research, leaving humanity to suffer the fate of a wave of drug-resistant bacteria -- superbugs -- that the drug companies actually helped create.

The industry is down to one last-ditch chemical: colistin, a toxic bug-killing chemical discovered in 1949. It kills superbugs, but it also causes kidney damage. So if you're infected with a superbug in a hospital, you can choose to either die from an infection, or die from the cure.

...There's a lot of that going on in medicine these days, it seems...

Nearly all antibiotics are now obsolete

In the last 34 years, Big Pharma has only come up with two new classes of antibiotics. Both are now obsolete. And the drug companies are walking away from the research needed to produce new antibiotics even as they run television ads claiming they "put patients first."

"Last year, Pfizer, the world's biggest drug company, closed its Connecticut antibiotics research center, laying off 1,200 workers," reports the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nih-superbug-ou...). "The company said it was moving the operation to Shanghai. ...Pfizer is struggling to open the Chinese facility and has largely abandoned antibiotics."

It turns out that drugs for erectile dysfunction, baldness or cholesterol are ten times more profitable than antibiotics. So while a wave of drug-resistant bacteria burns through our hospitals, killing patients by the tens of thousands, Big Pharma is far more interested in making sure some middle-aged guy on statin drugs can still get an erection. There are more profits to be had, after all, in giving people boners rather than cures.





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