The discovery of Pencillin was a breakthrough in medicine. It was only then that infections were treated effectively. That it saved millions of lives was never put in question.

But it also had side-effects and a considerable number of the world’s population were allergic to penicillin. Another breakthrough was needed.

On a Philippine island, Streptomycesery threes, a fungus, found in the soil was sent to a laboratory in the United States. The year was 1949. A young doctor working as a researcher for a drug multinational sent it. His name was Dr. Abelardo Aguilar, an Ilonggo. It was the breakthrough that was needed. It was 1952. It led to the development of Erythromycin. Eli Lilly and Company owned the new antibiotic. It changed the world.

Erythromycin was name Ilosone after Iloilo. This was useful in the treatment of respiratory tract infections, intestinal infections and several sexually transmitted diseases.

Dr. Aguilar left Eli Lilly and Company and set up his own clinic, ministering to poor patients. Unfortunately, his contribution to the discovery of Erythromycin was never recognized by the pharmaceutical multinational. It cited that it was done when he was an employee and any discovery belonged to the company and no monetary compensation was due to Dr. Aguilar.

Dr. Aguilar passed away in 1993 and was never given a single centavo as compensation for being co-discoverer of erythromycin.

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