New Technology Is Spreading “Superbugs”; Doctors Will Remain Unprepared

I have a piece in the health section of The Spectator, the great British magazine, about the continuing threat of so-called superbugs, drug-resistant pathogens. In a creepy twist, the latest superbug scare in the United States is due to an advanced piece of medical technology called the duodenoscope.

In my view, the superbug problem will persist (and worsen) as long as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries avoid developing new antibiotics for economic and financial reasons:

But what’s undeniable is that doctors will remain unprepared to treat superbug-infected patients if current trends in drug development continue. Big Pharma developed precious few new antibiotics in recent decades. Antibiotic resistance first emerged as a clinical problem in the 1960s. Since then, pharmaceutical companies, which on average spend five billion dollars to create and market a new drug, have found that antibiotics are not profitable. Why spend billions creating a drug that will eventually be ineffective?

Read the whole thing here.

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