Phage Therapy's "Promising Future" Has Already Arrived
Respected Western scientific publications have presented phage therapy as a promising notion for the future, without recognizing that phage therapy products are sold over-the-counter in the Republic of Georgia.
Phage therapy products that work. Phage therapy products which can save lives, improve health, and lower the cost of health care around the world. It's far past time to integrate these products into Western medicine.
Existing Products That Work
A cursory review of scholarly journals and popular publications alike reveals that very few people know that phage therapy products are even available for purchase - much less offered "over-the-counter" - in Georgian pharmacies and physician offices. These phage therapy products combat strep, staph, e-coli, and even MRSA infections - and they even have a "probiotic" effect, as they do not destroy the beneficial bacteria which live in a person's digestive tract. Yet, even the most avid phage therapy advocates still seem resigned to the notion that years of time-consuming research remains necessary before phage therapy products can be offered for commercial sale in the West.
ABTI emphatically rejects this view. We believe that almost a century of Georgian experience ought to be enough for regulatory authorities around the world to find an expedited means of approving existing Georgian products for import. While the strain-specific character of phages means that commercial phage therapy products can never be guaranteed to cure all bacterially-based infectious diseases, the fact remains that these products have the potential to prevent or remediate enough infections to make a substantial dent in antibiotic overuse around the world. Just think about the difference phage therapy could make under the following scenarios:
a. Preventative Medicine. A parent in Western Europe receives notice of a strep throat epidemic at her child's school. Under existing conditions, she has no choice but to hope her child escapes infection. Yet, if she had one of the Georgian phage therapy products which combat strep in her medicine cabinet, she could proactively administer a dose to her child so as to provide that child at least a modicum of protection.
b. The Potential for Swift Remediation. A parent in the United States notices that his child complains of symptoms which suggests the presence of a sinus infection. The parent takes that child to a doctor for a "sick visit" - thereby potentially exposing the child to other sick children - only to learn that a seven-day wait is necessary before the doctor can prescribe antibiotics (as some doctors have wisely chosen to withhold antibiotics until sufficient time has passed to confirm that the infection has a bacterial, rather than viral, source). Thus, it may take up to three weeks (the waiting period plus a full course of antibiotics) before the child is completely free of the infection. By contrast, this parent could immediately administer a Georgian phage therapy product upon hearing about the first symptom. Because phage therapy is strain-specific, it might not work in every instance - but since phages are harmless to everything but the specific bacteria they attack, there is no reason why a parent can't try this remedy as a "first option" - and then seek medical help if positive results don't appear soon.
c. No Side Effects. An resident of Canada begins to experience severe abdominal discomfort during international travel. Due to her location, she does not have access to antibiotics - and a potentially life-threatening e-coli infection takes root. If she had the ability to carry one of the Georgian phage therapy products which address e-coli bacteria with her, she could have at least a fighting chance of heading off a debilitating illness.
There are Western entities which are working diligently to develop phage therapy products which can meet current regulatory guidelines. ABTI respectfully contends that the world can't wait for Western scientists to "reinvent the wheel" when effective Georgian phage therapy products already exist which can curb the burgeoning crisis of antibiotic resistance while potentially improving the health and well-being of millions.