Seeing the light


The article 'Making Light Work' (Chemistry World, April 2012, p52) coincided with an alarming Daily Telegraph article relating the near-catastrophic increase in antibiotic resistance due to misuse by the NHS and in agriculture. It seems that big pharma is no longer interested in infection control for two reasons:

1 Any new antibiotic will quickly become ineffective due to acquired resistance.

2 They can make more money with continuous-use drugs to treat obesity, cholesterol and blood pressure than they can make on a 10-day course of antibiotics.

It is no great surprise that they are not interested in the potential of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The argument that they are not engineers is very negative, as in other fields of chemistry, such as cleaning and disinfection of food manufacturing equipment, it is routine for the chemical company to supply and service the dispensing equipment.

PDT is too good an opportunity to waste and there is a moral case for its commercialisation. I wonder if the experts in PDT would consider forming a cooperative organisation whereby professional scientists bought small shareholdings in the venture. I for one would be very happy to contribute a modest percentage of my pension.

M Barrett MRSC
Tewkesbury, UK


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