Matt is unworried; Kevin wants a study. I found some of the commenters on Matt's blog to be on the mark. For example, Matt writes:

Ask your local pharmaceutical company executive what he's done that competes with penicillin.

A reader replies:

ampicillin, amoxicillin, augmentin, methicillin, dicloxacillin, piperacillin, ticarcillin, cefazolin, cefipime, ceftriaxone, cefaclor, cefuroxamine, cefotetan, ceftazidime, impinem, meropenem, ertapenam....

That's funny, actually, since my own chronic asthma and bronchitis often sometimes require aggressive anti-biotics. Penicillin doesn't work for me, and I'm lucky to have a doctor who will prescribe stronger and newer drugs. But in England, under socialized medicine, my elderly parents have no choice on what anti-biotic they can get. None. Cheaper, you see? We're over-medicated over here, as the busybody left insists. Another Matt reader also targets a certain naivete about what would almost certainly happen even if we get assurances that no one wil be stopped from paying for drugs out of pocket.

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