The Genetic Commons

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Unregulated markets in antibiotics and pesticides select strongly for resistant genes, resulting in widespread resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. This is a classic tragedy of the commons, requiring regulation. Examples include DDT, MRSA, and resistance to RoundUp.


Antibiotic Resistance: A Mismanaged Public Good [More...]
"In the case of antibiotic resistance, health care providers who prescribing antibiotics frequently and easily are seeking to benefit each individual patient, while the costs of accumulating resistance to antibiotics are shared across the population. In this way, the pursuit of health for individual way, resistance to antibiotics builds in a way that can impose heavy costs."
DDT (3 links)
The pesticide industry is attempting to blame Rachel Carson and her green followers for millions of malarial deaths because of "DDT bans". But in reality, that industry is responsible for the deaths because they have fostered pesticide resistance in mosquitos through indiscriminant sales of their pesticides. DDT has NOT been banned for public health use, only agricultural use.
Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future [More...]
"After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely?" Bad.
The Antibiotic Arms Race Has a Capitalism Problem [More...]
"The overaching goal should be what's known as "de-linkage," a world in which the development costs of a pharmaceutical drug are disconnected from the sales of that drug. Given that antibiotic resistance affects pretty much all of us, hitching drug development to profit-potential seems actually insane."
The Collective Action Problem of Resistance to Antibiotics [More...]
"For economists, antibiotic resistance falls into the analytical category of collective action problems, which are situations where economic actors in pursuit of private gain have no incentive to take a social cost into account."


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