Effectiveness of multidrug therapies in tuberculosis
Eight million people develop tuberculosis and three million people die from tuberculosis worldwide, each year. Tuberculosis is caused by a mycobacterium that lodges in the lungs and grows. Tuberculosis was not treatable until 40 years ago, when the antibiotics streptomycin and p-amino-salicylic acid (PAS) were discovered. Later, it was shown that the drugs isoniazid, rifampin, and ethambutol were also effective against tuberculosis. Different treatment regimens were given, varying the combinations of the drugs. Patients were treated with these drugs for up to 18 months to prevent relapse. Studies showed that when combined, the drugs had either additive or synergistic (better than additive) effects. With the addition of a fourth drug, pyrazinamide, the length of treatment could be reduced to six months. Other modifications of the therapy were tested to determine the most effective combinations, including giving the different drugs intermittently to avoid toxicity. The mycobacterium responsible for tuberculosis has been found to remain dormant, but alive, in cells in the lungs known as macrophages for long periods of time. Studies have shown that combined therapy is effective at suppressing the growth of the bacteria in the cells. Therefore, combined drug therapy given in intermittent doses is effective in the treatment of tuberculosis. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
The development and dissemination on non-patentable therapies (NPTs)
Developers of non-patentable therapies (NPTs) seek patent protection to ensure the marketability of their products. A patent also allows investors to recoup their investment without competition. Because of the potential contributions of NPTs to the field of medicine, regulators need to create new types of institutional arrangements that would promote the development and dissemination of NPTs in the different sectors of society. Incentives should be given to encourage companies to test and produce NPTs for free.
Publication Name: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Emerging Multidrug-Resistant Organisms
An overview of drug resistance in microorganisms is examined, including a brief chronology of the development and use of antibiotics in medical treatment. Topics include the influence of drug resistance in directing current and future research.
Publication Name: Physician Assistant
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