Jennifer Haltli


Excellent, Young Adult, Snakes, Antivenom, Health

Document Type

Book Review


One million people suffer from snake bites annually. Over 100,000 of them die, mostly in the eastern hemisphere. With 680 species of venomous snakes residing on all habitable continents, the antivenom crisis is global. The major economic barrier to antivenom is that the countries with the most desperate need are the very same countries that cannot afford it. Consequently, bite victims have learned not to rely on expensive antivenoms that would be effectively administered in hospitals, defaulting instead to ineffective folk remedies. Production of antivenom is expensive, but that's not the only problem. The world’s countries have different medical approval processes and agencies, many of which are not reciprocal with other nations. These problems with approval cost countries in delays and money. Therefore, while antivenom could be available, manufacturers often simply give up on them as unprofitable.