Thursday, November 27, 2014

Government regulations/Medical rationing and Orwell

George Orwell died of TB despite the fact that streptomycin was being used in the US.

Why not in the UK? Not permitted to buy it under currency regulations.
`Before anything else I must tell you something that Dr Dick has said to me. He says that I am getting on quite well, but slowly, and it would speed recovery if one had some streptomycin (STREPTOMYCIN). This is obtainable in the USA, and because of the dollars the B[oard] O[f] T[rade] (or whatever it is) won't normally grant a licence. He suggested that you with your American connections might arrange to buy it and I could pay you... for it is a considerable sum and of course the hospital can't pay it...'Orwell followed up later with an urgent telegram to David Astor, who responded promptly. Astor contacted Orwell's specialist and urged him to ignore Orwell's scruples about money and to deal directly with him (Astor). Astor also contacted the Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan (who had been Orwell's former editor at the socialist magazine The Tribune), to make sure that there would be no political or licensing problems. A bank account in the USA containing the proceeds of the sale of Animal Farm there provided the dollars. It only took Orwell a few weeks to get the streptomycin. Thus it was that Orwell became the first person in Scotland to be offered the opportunity to try streptomycin.
and when he finally received the drug. he developed a severe allergy, so it had to be stopped. And PAS was given but that is a weak drug and didn't stop the disease.

He eventually died of hemoptysis, where the cavities from the disease erode into a blood vessel and you die of bleeding.

article here.

Lolo got TB and got some streptomycin somewhere and gave himself the shots. It cured the TB but left him with a hearing loss. I'm not sure when: Probably about 1950.

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