Antibiotic use threatens healthcare - Macleans.ca
 

Antibiotic use threatens healthcare

Drug-resistant bacteria kill 25,000 a year in Europe; 19,000 in U.S.


 

The “whole span of modern medicine” is under threat from the overuse of antibiotics in Europe, says Dominique Monnet of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) scientific advice unit, who reports that the overuse of antibiotics in Europe is creating resistance, threatening to halt medical treatments like hip replacement, cancer therapies, and intensive care for premature babies. “If this wave of antibiotic resistance gets over us, we will not be able to do organ transplants, hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and neonatal care for premature babies,” he told Reuters. Antibiotics are used in all those treatments to stave off bacterial infection, but drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem, killing about 25,000 people a year in Europe and 19,000 in the U.S. The six most common of them, called superbugs, cause about 400,000 infections in Europe each year, killing about 25,000 people and using 2.5 million hospital days in one year. On Nov. 18, the ECDC will launch an “antibiotics awareness” campaign to stop doctors from over-prescribing antibiotics.

Reuters


 
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Antibiotic use threatens healthcare

  1. This is not a new problem and not limited to Europe either. The output of new antibiotics has been declining steadily over the years because it costs vast amounts of money to develop an antibiotic drug which you only have to take once and is virtually useless in a few years due to resistance. Such drugs are just a bad business decision for a pharmaceutical company which can develop anti-depression or erectile dysfunction drugs which you need to buy again and again. Unfortunately, diseases will continue to evolve resistance and I just don't see the kinds of regulation, tax or patent incentives needed to solve the problem happening until it gets much, much worse.

  2. I have probably been one of the first to warn about the threat and an end to our medical profession. Then they laughed at me, thinking I am paranoid, pessimistic and negative. Now I laugh but with great pain because my worry was true but now I am helpless and have to watch the drama unfold.

    Now our water, sewer, our sea and alcohol are saturated with resistant bacteria and there is no place to hide.

    "A War We Will Never Win"