Did you know for generation’s pneumonia was called the “Old People’s Friend”.
A sardonic way of saying pneumonia eased the old people's passage into the afterlife. Millions of people around the world annually lost their lives to this fatal disease. Alexander Fleming received a British knighthood for discovering penicillin used to treat this dreaded disease.
Penicillin changed the face of medicine. It not only helped to remove pneumonia as a killer, but it also proved an effective treatment for a wide range of other potentially fatal streptococcal infections.
Now for the rest of the story.
Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar discovered soil from the Illoilo region had some interesting antibacterial properties. He sent samples to his employer, the American drug company, Eli Lilly. This led to the discovery of a broad spectrum antibacterial medicine, Erythromycin. Alexander Fleming received world fame and a knighthood for discovering Penicillin; Abelardo Aguilar discovered and even more effective antibiotic, but neither he nor the Philippines were ever paid or even recognized for their contribution.