Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Death, doubt and doom loom.

Bazz fazz. (All of the above quoted from Pogo.)

Admittedly we have enough to be worried about but this at least is solvable. The WHO once again raises the alarm on antibiotic resistance. Not that this blog hasn't passed this way before, but the problem isn't going away. We have made progress on improving hygiene in hospitals but that isn't getting a the main sources of the problem which still include feeding antibiotics to livestock and inappropriate prescribing.

If we don't find new ways to combat bacterial infection, and fairly soon, we'll be back to the pre-antibiotic world. Minor wounds and common childhood infections will kill, much of the surgery we do today will be impossible, or at least not worth the risk, and life spans will collapse.

The Free Market™ won't save you, because antibiotics just aren't very profitable for drug companies. People need only a short course of treatment, unlike the big moneymaker pills people take for months or forever. Those are the ones they advertise heavily, along with the ones that cost $100,000 for a course of treatment. In fact, if they do come up with a new antibiotic, it will sell very little because doctors will keep it as a last resort.

This requires government investment. Yes, Big Government. We could take 3 or 4 billion of that $54 billion Orange Julius wants to dump into useless military boondoggles and save humanity instead. What do you want to bet will happen?

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