Fecal transplants are known to cure problems such as c diff also known as Clostridium difficile which is a spore forming bacterial infection that can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea and in a percentage of the cases, can result in death.
The spores are often found in the soil and infections can be caused by improper food handling. The spores are resistant to stomach acid and pass through resulting in infections in the colon.
The condition has been treated with antibiotics with mediocre outcomes. Antibiotics will destroy the normal flora in the gut.
Recently, it has been discovered that fecal transplants, where healthy flora from another human has been placed in the colon of an infected person has resulted in often miraculous cures in infected individuals and is being considered as the most effective first line treatment for the condition. Fecal transplants have also been observed to help overweight people lose weight when the bacteria was harvested from someone who was much thinner. There is much more we need to learn about how the intestinal bacteria helps our body regulate weight while reducing inflammation and helping the assimilation of food into our systems.
Recently, the NY Times reported that a few drug companies have taken this relatively simple idea and developed a dosing procedure and protocol which potentially would be life saving, but would be quite costly as there has already been millions of dollars invested in these ventures which are trying to get FDA approval for these treatments.
As Americans, we pay more for healthcare than the rest of the world does, especially when it comes to drugs. Is the current model that we work within which enriches large corporations appropriate when we are talking about poop replacements? There are many examples of americans being gouged at the pharmacy counter for treatments that just a few years ago were much less expensive.
Poop replacements and many other medical procedures should cost much less than they do. Our healthcare system has been stolen by corporations that are profiting handsomely, as the average family struggles with the cost of purchasing and using their insurance. The system needs to be putting the interests of patients first, and with fecal transplants, it is a relatively simple idea that should be inexpensive to do.
The NY Times looks at the argument for both sides and questions the current model that makes every cure more expensive as companies try to cash in.
Drug Companies and Doctors Battle Over the Future of Fecal Transplants
As pharmaceutical companies seek to profit from the curative wonders of human feces, doctors worry about new regulations, higher prices and patients attempting DIY cures.
by Andrew Jacobs
March 3, 2019
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — There’s a new war raging in health care, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake and thousands of lives in the balance. The battle, pitting drug companies against doctors and patient advocates, is being fought over the unlikeliest of substances: human excrement.
The clash is over the future of fecal microbiota transplants, or F.M.T., a revolutionary treatment that has proved remarkably effective in treating Clostridioides difficile, a debilitating bacterial infection that strikes 500,000 Americans a year and kills 30,000.
The therapy transfers fecal matter from healthy donors into the bowels of ailing patients, restoring the beneficial works of the community of gut microbes that have been decimated by antibiotics. Scientists see potential for using these organisms to treat diseases from diabetes to cancer.