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The Antibiotic Era

Author: Scott H. Podolsky
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421415933
Size: 14.95 MB
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In The Antibiotic Era, physician-historian Scott H. Podolsky narrates the far-reaching history of antibiotics, focusing particularly on reform efforts that attempted to fundamentally change how antibiotics are developed and prescribed. This sweeping chronicle reveals the struggles faced by crusading reformers from the 1940s onward as they advocated for a rational therapeutics at the crowded intersection of bugs and drugs, patients and doctors, industry and medical academia, and government and the media. During the post–World War II "wonder drug" revolution, antibiotics were viewed as a panacea for mastering infectious disease. But from the beginning, critics raised concerns about irrational usage and overprescription. The first generation of antibiotic reformers focused on regulating the drug industry. The reforms they set in motion included the adoption of controlled clinical trials as the ultimate arbiters of therapeutic efficacy, the passage of the Kefauver-Harris amendments mandating proof of drug efficacy via well-controlled studies, and the empowering of the Food and Drug Administration to remove inefficacious drugs from the market. Despite such victories, no entity was empowered to rein in physicians who inappropriately prescribed, or overly prescribed, approved drugs. Now, in an era of emerging bugs and receding drugs, discussions of antibiotic resistance focus on the need to develop novel antibiotics and the need for more appropriate prescription practices in the face of pharmaceutical marketing, pressure from patients, and the structural constraints that impede rational delivery of antibiotics worldwide. Concerns about the enduring utility of antibiotics—indeed, about a post-antibiotic era—are widespread, as evidenced by reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, academia, and popular media alike. Only by understanding the historical forces that have shaped our current situation, Podolsky argues, can we properly understand and frame our choices moving forward.

The Antibiotic Era

Author: Scott H. Podolsky
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421415941
Size: 42.10 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In The Antibiotic Era, physician-historian Scott H. Podolsky narrates the far-reaching history of antibiotics, focusing particularly on reform efforts that attempted to fundamentally change how antibiotics are developed and prescribed. This sweeping chronicle reveals the struggles faced by crusading reformers from the 1940s onward as they advocated for a rational therapeutics at the crowded intersection of bugs and drugs, patients and doctors, industry and medical academia, and government and the media. During the post–World War II "wonder drug" revolution, antibiotics were viewed as a panacea for mastering infectious disease. But from the beginning, critics raised concerns about irrational usage and overprescription. The first generation of antibiotic reformers focused on regulating the drug industry. The reforms they set in motion included the adoption of controlled clinical trials as the ultimate arbiters of therapeutic efficacy, the passage of the Kefauver-Harris amendments mandating proof of drug efficacy via well-controlled studies, and the empowering of the Food and Drug Administration to remove inefficacious drugs from the market. Despite such victories, no entity was empowered to rein in physicians who inappropriately prescribed, or overly prescribed, approved drugs. Now, in an era of emerging bugs and receding drugs, discussions of antibiotic resistance focus on the need to develop novel antibiotics and the need for more appropriate prescription practices in the face of pharmaceutical marketing, pressure from patients, and the structural constraints that impede rational delivery of antibiotics worldwide. Concerns about the enduring utility of antibiotics—indeed, about a post-antibiotic era—are widespread, as evidenced by reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, academia, and popular media alike. Only by understanding the historical forces that have shaped our current situation, Podolsky argues, can we properly understand and frame our choices moving forward. -- John E. Lesch, University of California

Therapeutic Revolutions

Author: Jeremy A. Greene
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022639087X
Size: 11.18 MB
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When asked to compare the practice of medicine today to that of a hundred years ago, most people will respond with a story of therapeutic revolution: back then we had few effective remedies, now we have more (and more powerful) tools to fight disease. In this version of history, medicine was made modern and effectual by medicines. The aim of "Therapeutic Revolutions" is to challenge the linearity of this historical narrative, provide a thicker explanation of the process of therapeutic transformation, and explore the complex relationships between medicines and social change. Working on three continents and touching upon the lived experiences of patients and physicians, consumers and providers, marketers and regulators, the contributors to this volume together reveal the tensions between universal claims of therapeutic knowledge and the specificity of local sites in which they are put into practice, asking, collectively: what is revolutionary about therapeutics? "

Risky Medicine

Author: Robert Aronowitz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022604971X
Size: 72.75 MB
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In medicine today, public health and medical interventions are largely risk reducing and risk controlling rather than treating symptoms or curing disease. In several cases risk factors have almost become diseases in themselves. As Robert Aronowitz vividly depicts, we are experiencing a convergence of risk and disease, and a market-driven expansion of risk interventions. We increasingly understand and accept that many medical interventions are efficacious because they reduce risk. It is often the case, however, that little science supports risk interventions that have become commonplace. "Risky Medicine" wrestles with the problems associated with the conflation of risk and traditional notions of disease. It explores not only how we got to this point but what the implications are for our health care system and our personal dealings with doctors. The subject is hugely important for patients and doctors, and it matters enormously in health care policy going forward.

Racial Prescriptions

Author: Dr Jonathan Xavier Inda
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1472401077
Size: 44.77 MB
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In the contemporary United States, matters of life and health have become key political concerns. Important to this politics of life is the desire to overcome racial inequalities in health; from heart disease to diabetes, the populations most afflicted by a range of illnesses are racialized minorities. The solutions generally proposed to the problem of racial health disparities have been social and environmental in nature, but in the wake of the mapping of the human genome, genetic thinking has come to have considerable influence on how such inequalities are problematized. Racial Prescriptions explores the politics of dealing with health inequities through targeting pharmaceuticals at specific racial groups based on the idea that they are genetically different. Drawing on the introduction of BiDil to treat heart failure among African Americans, this book contends that while racialized pharmaceuticals are ostensibly about fostering life, they also raise thorny questions concerning the biologization of race, the reproduction of inequality, and the economic exploitation of the racial body. Engaging the concept of biopower in an examination of race, genetics and pharmaceuticals, Racial Prescriptions will appeal to sociologists, anthropologists and scholars of science and technology studies with interests in medicine, health, bioscience, inequality and racial politics.

The Microbes Fight Back

Author: Laura Bowater
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 1782621679
Size: 68.28 MB
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Antibiotics are familiar drugs to us all, so familiar that we may take them for granted. They allow us to survive life-threatening infections, and allow us to protect the animals we farm for food. Many antibiotics have now become ineffective against common diseases, and there are few alternative treatments to replace them. In this topical book, Laura Bowater, Professor of Microbiology Education and Engagement at Norwich Medical School, considers the past, present and uncertain future of antibiotics. This book begins by looking back at how infectious diseases, such as smallpox and The Plague, were able to wreak havoc on populations before the discovery of the first antibiotics. These then revolutionised the medical world. In an engaging and accessible style, Professor Bowater takes the reader through how antibiotics are made, how bacteria are able to mutate and develop resistance and she explains why there is now a lack of new antibiotic drugs coming to market. What will a future of continued antibiotic resistance look like? How can human activities prevent the rise of ‘superbugs'? Professor Bowater highlights the need for universal cooperation in order to tackle this global health challenge, which, if not addressed, could transport us back to the medical dark ages.

Antibiotics

Author: David M. Shlaes
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789048190577
Size: 37.11 MB
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Antibiotics are truly miracle drugs. As a class, they are one of the only ones that actually cure disease as opposed to most drugs that only help relieve symptoms or control disease. Since bacteria that cause serious disease in humans are becoming more and more resistant to the antibiotics we have today, and because they will ultimately become resistant to any antibiotic that we use for treatment or for anything else, we need a steady supply of new antibiotics active against any resistant bacteria that arise. However, the antibiotics marketplace is no longer attractive for large pharmaceutical companies, the costs of development are skyrocketing because of ever more stringent requirements by the regulatory agencies, and finding new antibiotics active against resistant strains is getting harder and harder. These forces are all combining to deny us these miracle drugs when we need them the most. I provide a number of possible paths to shelter from this perfect storm.

Pneumonia Before Antibiotics

Author: Scott H. Podolsky
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801883279
Size: 62.10 MB
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In Pneumonia Before Antibiotics, clinician-historian Scott H. Podolsky uses pneumonia's enduring prevalence and its centrality to the medical profession's therapeutic self-identity to examine the evolution of therapeutics in twentieth-century America.

Immunity

Author: Luba Vikhanski
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 9781613731109
Size: 65.63 MB
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In October 1882, while peering through a microscope at starfish larvae in which he had inserted tiny thorns, Russian zoologist Elie Metchnikoff had a brilliant insight: what if the mobile cells he saw gathering around the thorns were the same as white blood cells that traveled to the site of an injury or infection in a human or other animal? Was this some form of cellular defense? Metchnikoff’s theory of immunity, that phagocytes—white blood cells—formed the first line of defense against invading bacteria would eventually earn the scientist the unofficial moniker “Father of Natural Immunity” and a Nobel Prize, but first he had to convince his colleagues, including the skeptical Louis Pasteur. Author Luba Vikhanski chronicles Metchnikoff’s remarkable life, work, and discoveries in Immunity, the first modern biography of this hero of medicine. Metchnikoff was a towering figure in the scientific community of the early 20th century, a tireless humanitarian who also worked to curb outbreaks of cholera, rabies, syphilis, and other deadly diseases, and pioneered research into probiotics and gerontology. Though Metchnikoff is largely forgotten today, primarily because of the discovery of antibiotics, Vikhanski makes a compelling case that his work on natural immunity is finally receiving the long overdue attention it deserves.