After suffering miserably from a sinus infection for most of the last week, I'm up and about today, feeling, nearly, back to normal--only about 36 hours after starting a five-day course of Zithromax, one of the brand names under which the antibiotic azythromycin is sold. (After we finished recording the podcast this morning, I urged Rob, who, although on the other side of the continent has come down with the very same symptoms from which I was suffering, to mention Zithromax to a doc himself.)
Louis Pasteur, I find on poking around on the Internet, had some inkling as long ago as the eighteen-seventies that certain drugs could be used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, but it wasn't until 1932 that a team of scientists, working for the German pharmaceutical combine Bayer, figured out how to make the first antibiotic widely available. During the Second World War, antibiotics saved countless lives, and a new stream of such drugs continues to assist sufferers, such as yours truly, today.
You can't cook up antibiotics in your garage. To develop them, then manufacture them inexpensively enough to make them available to large populations, you need teams of scientists, industrial engineers, and marketers--the kinds of teams that exist at great big companies.
Big Pharma has its shortcomings, but it's worth remembering that it has alleviated human suffering in specific and tangible ways--ways that Big Government can scarcely match.
ObamaCare delenda est.