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Perspective

'We are in danger of entering a post-antibiotic apocalypse'

If the world fails to act, certain bacteria could kill up to 10 million people a year by 2050. That's the stark warning from a Dutch environmental organisation that has researched the growth of drug-resistant superbugs and looked at the causes behind them. Natasha Hurley, campaign manager at Changing Markets, tells us about the impact of our overconsumption of antibiotics, plus an often overlooked cause: environmental pollution that comes from producing medicines.

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Having conducted studies on the ground near polluting factories in Asia, she says industrial waste from pharmaceutical companies has led to massive fish die-offs and the destruction of livelihoods for people in the area.

Thinking before we take a tablet can help, but what is also needed, Hurley says, is regulation for all actors in the industry to prevent pharmaceutical products from seeping into our environment.

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