The End of Modern Medicine
Deadly "superbugs" that have evolved from antibiotic overuse may be the solution to all those pesky poor people in the world. They won't be able to afford the medical care to survive ordinary infections. Margaret Chan, director general of WHO (World Health Organization) via ABC News: [emphasis added]
"Some experts say we are moving back to the pre-antibiotic era. No. This will be a post-antibiotic era. In terms of new replacement antibiotics, the pipeline is virtually dry," said Chan. "A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child's scratched knee could once again kill."
The dearth of effective antibiotics could also make surgical procedures and certain cancer treatments risky or even impossible, Chan said.
"Some sophisticated interventions, like hip replacements, organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy and care of preterm infants, would become far more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake," she said.
The development of new antibiotics now could help stave off catastrophe later. But few drug makers are willing to invest in drugs designed for short term use.
"It's simply not profitable for them," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. "If you create a new drug to red[uce] cholesterol, people will be taking that drug every day for the rest of their lives. But you only take antibiotics for a week or maybe 10 days."
Superbugs might take down a few of the job-creating 1%, too, but they'll ease out of here pain-free, surrounded by doctors and hospital staff, unlike the rest of us.