Shoveling Deeper

Can you dig yourself out of a hole by digging deeper? It would seem so if you’ve followed Brittney Spears’ or Charlie Sheen’s lives over the last couple of years, but can you really dig yourself out of a hole by digging deeper?

I read recently that U.S. government officials, medical experts and drug companies are seeking to speed up the approval process for new antibiotics as a means of dealing with the recent outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The article noted:

The need for new antibiotics is so urgent, supporters of an overhaul say, that lengthy studies involving hundreds or thousands of patients should be waived in favor of directly testing such drugs in very sick patients. Influential lawmakers have said they are prepared to support legislation that allows for faster testing.

The Health and Human Services Department last month announced an agreement under which it will pay $40 million to a major drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline, to help it develop medications to combat antibiotic resistance and biological agents that terrorists might use. Under the plan, the federal government could give the drug company as much as $200 million over the next five years.

“We are facing a huge crisis worldwide not having an antibiotics pipeline,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration. “It is bad now, and the infectious disease docs are frantic. But what is worse is the thought of where we will be five to 10 years from now.

Houston, we have a problem.

3 thoughts on “Shoveling Deeper

  1. Zach

    There are so many things wrong with this approach! What about, first of all, stopping the problem to begin with. There is such overuse of antibiotics in livestock, as well as many countries where you can get antibiotics over the counter, which leads to great overuse. This coupled with a lack of understanding for the need to finish a complete course of antibiotics leads to where we are now.

    The other issue is as we go further into time from the initial discovery of antibiotics, they are having a hard time finding ones that are as effective as the previous ones used to be that don’t have terrible side effects. The low hanging fruit have already been picked.

    Do we really think that the time to fast-track drug studes is while we are concurrently finding entire categories of antibiotics such as the fluoriquinolones that have more serious side effects than had been anticipated? I know I don’t want kidney failure along with my MRSA…


  2. Coco

    Isn’t a definition for insanity doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result? Looking for a quick fix, a method to mitigate the effects of habitual life style choices or to empower a system with our individual health care strategy, seems to be at the foundation of this debacle. We each are necessitated to understand our options and participate in the choice. Maybe the treatment that will benifit us the most, is not the most popular or the one sanctioned by our insurance company. Sometimes it’s as simple as what we eat or as complex as what other health issues it will affect. I believe if enough of the public require this transparency it could be the beginning for change instead of more license to kill.


  3. Katherine

    Wow, that is a terrifying problem. Unfortunately, not handling problems correctly establishes a precedent that creates more problems and I feel this will exemplify that in the extreme!


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