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The Drugs Don't Work: A Global Threat (Penguin Specials) by [Davies, Professor Dame Sally, Grant, Jonathan, Catchpole, Mike]
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The Drugs Don't Work: A Global Threat (Penguin Specials) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Review

A horror story . . . A startling and disturbing read (Scotsman)

Gets across a single point with devastating effect . . . A highly important message that, for a start, every MP and GP should be reading (Popularscience.co.uk)

If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again (David Cameron, Prime Minister)

About the Author

Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer for England. She is a haematologist with specialist research interest in sickle cell disease. But in her advisory post she guides government decisions on diverse subjects such as superbugs, drug trials and obesity. She developed the National Institute for Health Research in 2006 with a budget of £1 billion. She is an Emeritus Professor at Imperial College.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 332 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (15 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EZEC0SM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,337 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a Penguin Special, a deliberately slim book that gets across a single point with devastating effect. Sally Davies (I really can't call her 'Professor Dame' like the cover does - it makes her sound like a character from a pantomime) ought to know what she's talking about when it comes to antibiotics, as she is the Chief Medical Officer for England.

We start with a stark little story of life in the 2040s when all the antibiotics have failed and even what appears to be a harmless throat infection could result in isolation and death. Davies then takes us swiftly through the history of antibiotics and the various nasties we have to face up against.

In case it's not obvious by now, the theme is that our over-use of antibiotics is resulting in growing resistance building up in more and more diseases. At the same time, there really isn't a lot of work going into the next generation of drugs, as it isn't a hugely profitable thing for pharma companies to do.

Left with only the current facts we are presented with a dire situation, particularly for the next generations. However, Davies does come up with a range of possibilities for making things better, from the simplest aspects like washing our hands more effectively through to means to encourage production of the next generation of antibiotics. The trouble is, these positive bits seem to me to be primarily filled with the optimism of the scientific professional, rather than a reflection of the political reality. Specifically, I think unless we see Bill Gates and his equivalents pouring vast amounts into the research we won't get very far until things start going horribly wrong.
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Excellent book that explains why the difficulties arising out of bacterial resistance to antibiotics are so potentially worrying to all of us. We may be returning to the situation we had before antibiotics were available to us and that simple infections will no longer be so easy to deal with, but may become life-changing or life-threatening to us in the future. Rampant overprescribing and inappropriate prescribing of antibacterials for the treatment of viral infections for example are the cause, plus the lack of new innovations from the pharmaceutical industry - a fascinating read - well written without patronising the reader.
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A skinny book in the Penguin Specials genre which spells out a single message - but not exhaustively. The message is,"Germs" are becoming resistant to "antibiotics". Examples are given and some of the reasons why are explained.Basically these appear to be, biology, misuse and complacency.
The prose can be a bit turgid and the pace overwhelming. Content flows somewhat erratically between the technical specialisms and the mundane.
The structure would have benefited from a more thought through layout - diagrams, headings, bullet points, etc More of a PowerPoint presentation than a constant fast jog through a very varied and complex landscape. On occasions it's a bit like being trapped at the bar with a bloke who's a single issue fanatic. An index would have been useful.
Nevertheless it is a startling read. Some issues are depressingly simple in fact but fiendishly complex in practice. Multiple contributing circumstances provide such overwhelming variables that it's difficult not to despair.
There needs to be a parallel book on the potential effects of genetics and nano-technology to combat or at least restrain infection as this book appears to provide an overarching suggestion that ultimately "antibiotics" will always be - at the very least - on the back foot. the science works but is constantly undercut by greed, incompetence and plain stupidity.
This work by three eminent specialists is beyond doubt worth the reading as a primer covering a very scary situation. Other than providing generalist knowledge it does present portals through which anyone hitherto uninitiated can travel for more knowledge and understanding in depth.
My composite thought as I reached the final page was, we're in this problem together but we don't care all that much. In that respect the book succeeded.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This book should be part of every school's reading list in an effort to educate the population about the health problem associated with the growing menace of drug resistant antibiotics through over use, mis-use and lack of understanding how they work. Food for thought on what steps doctors and patients can do about it.
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Excellent review of the problems that modern medicine faces for the future. Compares how much time and money may be spent on producing new drugs, and how few may actually be appropriate to use. Worrying trends for future use of antibiotics. Conventional medicine may be less able to treat future epidemics. Easy to read and a fairly short book written by the Chief Medical Officer.
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People need to be educated about the threat that lies ahead due to the poor misuse of antibiotics. Fascinating reading.
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Sally Davies is the sixteenth UK Government Chief Medical Officer, and the first woman in that post. She has written an excellent primer on the subject of drug resistance, starting with Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin in 1921. The 75 pages of this primer, written with clarity and simplicity for a non-scientific readership, sets out in three short chapters: the general situation of man and microbes, the fall and rise of infection by bacteria, and the urgent task of setting up programmes to combat the rise of bacterial infection on a global scale. This little book should be on the 16+ reading list in schools and colleges. In the light of the current needless and dangerous over-prescription of antibiotics in the UK, it should be mandatory reading for all GPs!
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