The accessibility of phage therapy services

where do people get phage therapy?

Despite the reinstated attention it has gained in recent years, Phage therapy is still limited to only some jurisdictions. The global growing number of antibiotic-resistant bugs is worrisome all over the world, with the predictions that superbugs may have killed many people compared to other common diseases. There is a currently unmet medical need for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections since there are fewer to no approved alternatives to antibiotics. Among the available alternatives, bacteriophages are of their kind. These living viruses are considered not to be harmful to any eukaryotic cell and so far they have saved many patients from their death beds. Some countries, especially former Soviet states like  Russia, Georgia, and Poland have been using this therapy for some time while other states like USA and UK are still using it as a drug under trial.

A doctor applying phage preparation to a patient femur
Administration of phages to a patient with a Pseudomonas aeruginosa-infected femur. Courtesy: Dr Tristan Ferry, Twitter


Many people are getting a hard time finding a proper place of getting phage treatment. Phages can be offered as on-counter-ready prepared (in countries like Georgia) or self-tailored products. Some patients travel to seek therapy in countries where phage products are approved while others get a trial-based treatment in countries that are not yet with the approval process. Indeed, seeking phage therapy services in countries where the approval isn’t yet done can be tricky to many. The reasonable answer to how to get phage therapy and where can you get hugely depend on where you are.

In general

To anyone who is seeking phage therapy, it's very good to start by visiting the Phage Directory. This website was co-founded by Jessica Sacher and Jan to connect phage scientists, physicians, and patients. Phage scientists have managed to build a society that is more of the community focusing on the same goal. In the directory, you can easily access the profiles of different scientists and biotech companies that have ventured into phages. you can easily obtain their contact information from there. The most amazing feature is to be able to post your inquiry to their website for anyone to see. People at the directory are very approachable and always willing to help.

Alternatively, there is a Facebook page titled The Phage Page, its members are so informative on phage therapy. Members will recommend a place for treatment based on their personal experience and location. And you will easily find people with the same problem as yours.

Phage therapy by continent

Africa

Currently, in Africa, phage therapy for humans is non-existing. Those who want phage therapy in Africa would probably have to travel to another continent. Phage scientists in Africa have been doing a lot of efforts on trying to legalize this form of treatment despite the challenges. Hopefully, in near future, we will be able to see patients' “resurrections” from superbugs.

Asia

In Asia, many states haven't yet approved and the therapy is provided on a trial basis. Mostly when the antibiotics have failed to cure. In India, China, and some other countries in Asia there has been a report of successful trial treatment. Which is probably paving the way for the phage revolution.

Australia

For now, phage therapy is only available in Australia through clinical trials. There have been plans by the government of Australia in building a network of phage therapy all over the country. Hopefully, it will ease the approval of the phage products.

Europe

Europe especially the eastern part to be specific is having countries that have ventured fully into phage therapy for more than 100 years. The most like destination for many seeking this kind of treatment is Tbilisi, Georgia, and Russia. Hospitals in this part of Europe are well specialized with a lot of experienced individuals. Some people send a sample of their superbugs for scientists to hunt for the superbug slayer (phage) and send back the preparation. In the Western part of Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) promoted the research and development of bacteriophage-based therapies due to its outstanding potential with the condition that the approval process will only be recommended if efficacy and safety have been proven by appropriately designed preclinical and clinical trials.

Middle East

The Arab countries are not anywhere behind in this revolutionary change. Many countries have offered grants to researchers who are venturing into phages. Despite everything, no country has already offered approval to this kind of therapy but many are doing it on a trial basis.

North and South America

In this part of the world, USA and Canada are spearheading the advancement in phage therapy. Despite having many successful results, phage therapy is still not yet approved in these countries but patients can obtain the therapy as an emergency or trial drug. Recently the US government has expanded its funding to phage-based biotech companies. Some phage products have been approved in some parts. Like the phage spray for meat in the United States which shows light that soon other products will as well be approved.

How much does a phage therapy cost?

The cost associated with phage therapy varies greatly with the nature of infections and your location. while some scientists may provide their preparation for free, the specialized biotech companies will charge you a certain amount to refund their costs. It is still a bit hard to predict the general price range since this type of therapy is still in the trial stage in many parts of the world. The correct prices can be provided by the service providers after assessing your situation.

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This page will keep being updated as per changes in the state of phage therapy worldwide. If you have any questions or noticed something is outdated please leave a comment below.

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