I grew up believing in the future trajectory of the advancement of science and medicine. He thought that human health would continue to improve for hundreds of years. As I developed through my career in the field of health sciences, I was optimistic.
Now I have serious doubts.
Science still works well, but deadly hurdles are blocking the path between research and progress in my field of work: antibiotics.
Threats to mankind are getting worse and worse by then, but for reasons to avoid my colleagues and me, it seems like there is a surprise but little will to do much about it.
This week (November 12-18) is the state of global antibiotic awareness. We need to talk about this threat. We need to develop public-private partnership models for incentives, funds and investments in antibiotic development and development.
Penicillin made him prideful.
There is a problem here. About 75 years ago, science has made penicillin available to the public, opening a new era in the management of infectious diseases. Pandemics, such as pneumonia and streptococci, which were generally fatal to their grandparents' days, have been tamed at least once.
The average life span in subsequent generations has been 25 years and the epidemic continued to fall out of the top rankings of human deaths in the world rankings above bullets and bombs.
Using cheap, abundant and effective antibiotics, people in developed countries are satisfied with controlling infections.
But all this time, while we live longer and live a better life, the plague has been trying to recover, and today they are knocking on the door. In fact, they are already cracking the door.
The market does not meet demand.
In the example of the rapid evolution of Darwin's adaptation through natural selection, bacteria and other microorganisms are evolving to survive antibiotics. Unless humanity builds a new layer of defense in the form of new antibiotics and other creative approaches, they will continue to adapt and succeed.
Governments around the world are aware of the crisis by identifying them at the UN General Assembly in 2016 and at the G20 special high-level talks in 2017.
The problem is knowing what we need to do to develop a new antibiotic therapy.This task is obviously difficult, but there are already promising alternatives to older medicines, and more are in the pipeline.
Unfortunately, it is not yet sold in the commercial market. If you do not have something that can be a non-drug product, you may never get there.
An important obstacle to producing new antibiotics has been our own economic model of trust in the market. The invisible touch that philosopher and economist Adam Smith calls is not working here, and everything in danger is all the progress made by antibiotics.
Canada can lead the fight of life in the world after antibiotics.
Public model is dangerous
Last summer, two pharmaceutical companies in the US were FDA approved for new antibiotic compounds. As soon as they realized that the market was literally making a world-savvy drug, their stocks fell.
Do you sound counterintuitive? Investing hundreds of millions of dollars in new drug development, testing and sales is risky if the drug can not be recovered within 20 years of patent expiration.
It is difficult to do so when trying to recover a 10-day prescription fee at a time. And in many cases it is still cheap and effective when you prescribe a new drug for infections that can not be solved with traditional antibiotics.
The only business-worthy way to create a new antibiotic is to pay for it within the scope of an astronomically costly and rare anticancer drug.
Many people claim to look at antibiotics in the same way they see fire stations. As individuals, we may not need them, but we are willing to share the costs, because we expect them to be there.
The public model seems meaningful, but who will take the political risk?
Hospitals under threat
Without the intervention – the end of effective antibiotics – which helps the public through the governments of the world, in cooperation with the private sector – to help incentives, funds and investments in antibiotic discovery and development – is a terrifying end.
It will happen gradually, but it will surely happen. The first step is here in the form of multiple antibiotic-resistant infections that already threaten the basic function of the hospital.
Next, you can see that the general procedure, such as dental hygiene appointments and joint replacement surgery, has been permanently canceled due to the risk of infection.
People of all ages will begin to die again with the illnesses we are used to treating with $ 10 or $ 20 worth of pills. Those who do not die often get sick more often and are cared for longer.
The average life expectancy can fall to the early 1900s, and the golden age of antibiotics will feel short and happy in history.
This is not necessary. Move our perceptions into action.