Government likes to make citizens scared of things so we will have to trust them to save us. But there seems to be something popping up now that they could really save us from and aren't! Antibiotic resistance is growing at an alarming rate. Some people call them superbugs. Just 1 of those superbugs called MRSA killed 19,000 Americans last year. 18,000 Americans died from AIDS. We invested over 15 billion in HIV/AIDS research last year.We invested 10 million dollars in MRSA research. That 10 million came from individual donors. The US Government invested nothing in research to stop something that killed 19,000 of its citizens last year!
New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 or NDM1 has already spread to most countries including the US. It's only killed a dozen or so but has no known cure and has only been around since 2008. 90,000 people are expected to die this year from contracting a superbug in the hospital. Turbuculosis was thought to have been cured in the 1940's, but now has morphed in to a superbug. Look for 150,000 more to die this year of this new TB. Whooping caugh is morphing in to a superbug and killed over 300,000 people world wide last year.
"There are an increasing number of infections for which there are virtually no therapeutic options, and we desperately need new discovery, research and development" said Laura Piddock professor of microbiology at Birmingham University and the Director of Antibiotic Action. Sally Davies who is the Chief Medical Officer for England, but may actually be Kinks lead singer Ray Davies in drag, had a sobering warning today. But first this side side by side comparison.
Nice turtleneck. You can't hide that Adams Apple!
Now moving on, Ray I mean Sally (wink wink) said today that
"Antibiotic resistance is a ticking time bomb not only for the UK but also for the entire world. We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antibiotic resistance does not become a reality. If we don’t act now, medicine could be knocked back hundreds of years because the ability to survive even the most basic of operations would become doubtful due to untreatable infections.That’s why governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organisation and G8, need to take this seriously".
Did our scientists get caught off guard by this? Nope. Back in 2002 40,000 American's died from all the different superbugs. Here's an article from Oxford 10 years ago pointing out the alarming trend in research and development.
FDA approval of new antibacterial agents decreased by 56% over the past 20 years (1998–2002 vs. 1983–1987). Projecting future development, new antibacterial agents constitute 6 of 506 drugs disclosed in the developmental programs of the largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Despite the critical need for new antimicrobial agents, the development of these agents is declining.
By the way if you're thinking 'isn't this where private industry spots a need and invents the cure to get rich', the answer is no. In a 2011 Forbes article entitled "The Truly Staggering Cost of Inventing New Drugs" you can see that it costs on average anywhere from 4 billion to 12 billion to get a drug to market. These are relative easy fix drugs for the scientists to work on. No company has a trillion to invest in R&D so they're not even trying. Drug companies aren't looking to save the world, they're looking to make a profit. So depression, psoriasis and erectile dysfunction get all the money. Seems like curing psoriasis would fix the rest, but what do I know?
HIV has had world research money of over a trillion dollars and still has no cure. Most of that money has come from governments because private corporations could never front that kind of budget. HIV has quilts, and parades, and movies made about the people who die from it. Madonna, U2, Elton John and Salt-N-Pepa had hit songs singing about Aids. Because citizens brought this to their governments attention, most western governments invested tax dollars in finding a cure. We are nowhere near a cure for superbugs, because we don't even have a quilt yet!
Once governments invest several hundred billions to prime the pump, private corporations will invest too. Because they're hoping to be the ones to land the cure and get rich! There's gold in dem dare superbugs! But someone has to get this party started, before we're all dancing like it's 1799.
photo:screen grab youtube
You'd look look sad too if you knew that at the first sign of infection they would either begin "blood letting" or lock you in your room till "you got better" Breitbart reports that scientists around the globe are saying we need to sound the alarm. I say the sound we need is some hit songs!