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The Drugs Don't Work - A Global Threat

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Antibiotics add, on average, twenty years to our lives. For over seventy years, since the manufacture of penicillin in 1943, we have survived extraordinary operations and life threatening conditions. We are so familiar with these wonder drugs that we take them for granted. The truth is that we have been abusing them, as patients, as doctors, as travellers, in our food.

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Paperback, 97 pages
Published 2013 by Penguin
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Aurélien Thomas
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medical, science
An invaluable little book with a crucial message: our abuse of antibiotics is dangerous, as it brings forth the evolution of superbugs; with all the terrible consequences that will ensue.

It's accessible, yet detailed enough to clearly understand the issue surrounding infectious diseases and our means to fight them. It's also, despite the gloom of its central warning, quite optimistic - the authors believing, for example, in the possibility of international consensus in order to better regulate
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Brian Clegg
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Patch Thompson
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
More terrified that I was already.
Jocelyn (foxonbooks)
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Terrifying! A paper on the very real threat that common bacteria and viruses will likely again pose to humanity. The drugs will no longer work. At least Professor Sally Davies offers hope for a solution? About as scary as the warnings about climate change.
Daniel Band
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Small but strong book, very enticing read.

It illustrates how bleak the future seems with the threats of newly emerging super-resistant microorganisms such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, and a world without antibiotic medication, but also adds more promising solutions in avoiding such catastrophes.

Would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the sciences of medicine or microbiology.
Sam Allen
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good primer for those wanting to learn about the antibiotic resistance crisis.
Emily
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent and very short introduction to antimicrobial resistance. It begins with a terrifying dystopian scenario in which people are dying from the kind of common infections we give barely a thought to today: this part, imagining the implications for the real lives of ordinary people, freaked me out more than any other. It could highlight the issue to people even if they have little interest of reading the whole book, which goes on to explain the science, the issues and the possible ...more
Nicholas
Slow to begin, full of generalisation this short book rapidly recovered ground to finish with a grand flourish of recommendations, ideas and areas for further investigation.

It was a grand thing to read a piece of work that, unlike so many others, not only identifies the issues BUT also recommends solutions.
Astrid Edwards
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this essay.

No new antibiotics have been developed since 1987 and the ones we have are becoming less effective.

Davies - both a Dame and a Professor - outlines what we can, and should, do about it.
Sophie
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
It is very basic, the science is below GCSE level and I knew most of it. However, the statistics are interesting when at a higher level and it is quite an enjoyable read. Perfectly average.

Full review to follow on my blog.
Jben
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick, terrifying reading that will ensure you always wash your hands properly, only use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and never bother your doctor for antibiotics when you've only got a cold ever again.
Lucas
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Only slightly informative for the average scientifically literate individual. On the other hand, I find that there are fewer and fewer people I would describe this way. So, YMMV.
Adele Wharton
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A really concise, well written book explaining the mechanisms and potential impacts of antimicrobial resistance, as well as suggestions of strategies to combat it.
Katjp
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another book that everyone should read. Clear explanations of a real global problem that needs to be fixed.
Marc O'sullivan
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
An interesting read, that'll give some people a bit of a kick up the ass in some of their bad habits. Feels like you're reading a well written scientific editorial.
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