The medical industry’s obsession with bigger, more powerful (and above all, patentable!) medicines may lead to killer pandemics.
We frequently discuss the global threat of superbugs—drug-resistant bacteria, which are created in two ways:
- If a drug can kill, say, 95% of bacteria, the 5% that remain are by definition much stronger than the others, not killed by current medicines, and can then reproduce without any interference or competition from other bacteria, allowing them to quickly take over.
- Drugs target specific bacterial proteins, so any new mutation in these proteins will interfere with or negate the drug’s destructive effect, resulting in antibiotic resistance. Drug resistance is a natural response to pressures imposed on any living organism: you must adapt, or you die. Many adapt. Many become resistant to more than one drug, making them even harder to kill.
A few weeks ago we told you about weeds becoming resistant to the lethal pesticide Roundup, creating strains of “superweeds.” It’s the same principle at work.