The FDA is on the verge of deciding the future of fecal microbiota transplants (FMT), a promising new treatment that harnesses the power of the gut microbiome to fight illness. The agency is poised to regulate FMT as new drugs, which means patients will be paying thousands of dollars for human poop. This is yet another example of why medicine is so expensive in this country: the FDA takes affordable, natural treatments-as natural and humble as human feces!-and gifts them to Big Pharma to reap mega-profits. What's at stake in the short term is the accessibility of a treatment for a debilitating bacterial infection (Clostridioides difficile, or C. diff) that hits 500,000 Americans a year and kills 30,000. FMT, which involves transferring fecal matter from a healthy donor into an infected patient to repair the gut microbiota, has proven remarkably effective at treating C. diff. FMT has an 80% success rate treating C. diff, with some patients requiring just a single dose.
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