Antibiotic resistance could spell end of modern medicine, says chief medic

Antibiotic resistance could spell end of modern medicine, says chief medic, by Press Association.

England’s chief medical officer has repeated her warning of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse” as she urged world leaders to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Prof Dame Sally Davies said that if antibiotics lose their effectiveness it would spell “the end of modern medicine”. Without the drugs used to fight infections, common medical interventions such as caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly risky and transplant medicine would be a thing of the past, she said. …

Health experts have previously said resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer. …

Each year about 700,000 people around the world die due to drug-resistant infections including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050. …

Davies said: “This [antimicrobial resistance] AMR is with us now, killing people. This is a serious issue that is with us now, causing deaths. If it was anything else, people would be up in arms about it. But because it is hidden they just let it pass.

If the ‘antibiotic apocalypse’ happens, it’ll be because our politicians let it, by Nick Dearden.

We’ve known about the problem of antibiotic resistance for decades. …

Big pharma is the epitome of monopoly capitalism. It’s not going to waste its time developing new, fallback antibiotics that will only be used as a “medicine of last resort” – because by the time their use becomes widespread, the patents will have expired and the profits will be gone. …

In Britain, human overuse is still the main problem for antibiotics, but it is also estimated that antibiotics in animals accounts for 45% of our usage. British pig farmers use five times more antibiotics than those in the Netherlands or Denmark – and 25 times more than those in Sweden. Remember that most of those animals aren’t ill, but if you keep animals in overcrowded conditions, that’s the only way to stop them becoming ill. Industrial farming is now a major incubator of antibiotic resistance. It’s also a key way that big business keeps profits high. …

Both big pharma and agribusiness have lobbied hard against European regulations on the overuse of antibiotics in animals.

This being the Guardian, the only solution is more regulation of industries they don’t like — not removal or modification of the regulation that encourages some of this behavior.