April 2, 2009

FIGHTING ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT INFECTIONS WITH PHAGES: I’ve been reading about this for most of my life, and it seems like such a good idea. So why aren’t we, you know, doing it routinely? Oh, wait, here’s one reason: “The Food and Drug Administration was another story. Since 1963, the agency has mandated a strict approval process for all medications sold in America. Phage therapy has yet to be subjected to it, so Wolcott had to petition his state regulatory board to allow him to administer it only to people who had exhausted all other options. Then, because you can’t find phages in U.S. pharmacies, he had to trek all the way to the former Soviet republic of Georgia to get it. There it’s sold over the counter like eyedrops. He bought, for $2 each, three clear glass bottles, each filled with a liquid containing hundreds of types of phages.” Plus this: “Our whole regulatory environment has been one major thing that has slowed people down.” Faster, please.

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