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Forum Post: Antibiotics cont'd 4

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 18, 2011, 7:24 p.m. EST by TheAncientMariner (100)
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Q. Why don't the drug companies develop new antibiotics before the existing ones become ineffective? A. This is where 2. comes in.

Believe it or not, most clinicians have common sense. They know about the evolutionary arms race and they know that profligate use of antibiotics cause them to become useless. Because of this they are also sensible enough to know what to do with any new antibiotic which becomes available.

1st Law of Antibiotics! If you get a new one lock it away and keep it!

Q. Why. A. Because it's precious!

If a new antibiotic is developed, existing bacteria have no resistance to its effects. It is a magic bullet against infection. As soon as you start to use it the arms race begins and it will eventually lose all efficacy. Yet again Bacteria 1 Humans 0. Keep it up your sleeve until all else has failed. But drug companies operate in a capitalist system. They have to develop drugs which will make money in the short term – capitalism abhors long term gains as much as nature abhors a vacuum - “it's the bottom line, stupid!”

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