An accidental discovery that changed medicine forever
Just under 100 years ago in September 1928, Alexander Fleming stumbled on the most life-changing discovery in recent medical history.
As he himself said of that day in September: “One sometimes finds, what one is not looking for. When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did.“
Together with medical colleagues Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the world should be grateful to these great scientists for evermore.
The difficulty, after the momentous discovery of penicillin and its antibiotic properties, was how to market this wonder drug on a mass scale. The three men, with countless other collaborators, developed a production capability which meant that it could become available to people in need all over the world.
It’s a good example of what Louis Pasteur said about his own experience regarding germ theory and rabies, “fortune favours the prepared mind”.
Find out about his life, his discovery and the work that was done to bring this medical breakthrough to people around the world.