Review Articles

New Drugs, New Frontiers: Balancing access and affordability in the treatment of infectious diseases

Credit: Peggy Huang

T Stewart and B Mak

In an age of unprecedented scientific advancement, it is unacceptable that vast segments of the world’s population lack access to essential medicines. Sadly, this is the current state of affairs, with only two thirds of the world’s population having regular access to essential medicines (1).

Book Review: "Spoz and Friends: Tales of a London Medical Student" by Grahame C. W. Howard


Review by J Hartley

Grahame Howard's accounts of his days in St Thomas' Hospital now close to half a century ago seem to hold a sort of circus mirror to current times - parts of a modern medical student's life seem somehow amplified, some made strange and some strikingly familiar.

Antimicrobial resistance: A major threat to public health

Credit: Wellcome Images

WL Hamilton and R Wenlock

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an increasing problem in the treatment of many pathogenic microorganisms, and can be intrinsic to the pathogen or acquired. Here, we provide an overview of the causes and consequences of AMR using illustrations from bacterial species that have a major impact on UK healthcare, such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing organisms, and Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE). Bacteria can quickly evolve AMR due to short generation times allowing rapid evolutionary change, and horizontal transfer of genetic material between strains. The resulting arms race between bacterial evolution and human pharmaceuticals is one that modern medicine is currently losing, with potentially disastrous consequences for patient outcomes, public health, and healthcare macroeconomics.


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