Almost everyone these days uncritically accepts that the solution to antibiotic-resistant disease is to use fewer antibiotics.
Almost everyone these days uncritically accepts that the solution to antibiotic-resistant disease is to use fewer antibiotics. What about using more antibiotics? More varieties that is.
When doctors found penicillin was losing its efficacy as our first line of defense against bacterial infections, the medical community didn’t throw up its hands and use less. New antibiotics were developed!
No… not stronger antibiotics. New varieties were developed that kept us ahead of the bacteria that ail us, humans and animals alike, to the point where doctors and veterinarians now have well in excess of 100 antibiotics to rely upon in fighting infection.
But now, thanks to overregulation resulting from tax-funded lobbying by anti-antibiotic, naturopathic, homeopathic, sustainability and organic activists, pharmaceutical companies have largely abandoned the development of new antibiotics. It's much simpler and more profitable to focus instead on treating phony ailments like attention-deficit disorder, obesity and erectile dysfunction.
There will always be those who believe we must go backwards so as to move forward. But we never stood still before. Why start now?
Let’s keep moving forward on antibiotics.
Mischa Popoff has a degree in the history of science and is an advisor for the Frontier Centre and The Heartland Institute.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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