Thursday, May 17, 2018

Phages: One More Example of Misguided FDC Regulation

Mother Jones has an article about phage treatments for bacteriological infections. Phage treatments predated antibiotics, but the advent of antibiotics eliminated research interest in them. They are based on a discovery of French researcher  FĂ©lix d’Herelle, who had worked at Yale but was induced to move to Russia because  Stalin provided funding. Stalin murdered D'Herelle's chief protege,  Georgi Eliava, in a purge. However, the Eliava Institute still exists.

The phage treatment may present a way to treat the new, antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are beginning to infect Americans.  However, they are unavailable in the US because the FDA will not allow them, despite any evidence of their being harmful.

This is one more example of murderous effects of government regulation.  Maryn McKenna writes in Mother Jones: 

But for phage therapy to be deployed routinely in the United States, phages would have to be approved as drugs by the FDA. To treat an American patient with them now requires emergency compassionate-use authorization—effectively an acknowledgment that nothing with an FDA license can save the patient’s life. And Strathdee [an American who required treatment] was about to learn that because phages have no such approval, awareness of them is scarce and unevenly distributed, and finding the right researchers and physicians requires extraordinary luck.

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