They have been used for over 60 years as an alternative to antibiotics in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They are seen as a possible therapy against multi drug resistant strains of many bacteria.
Now, due to their limited usage and availability, they are unfortunately not the most convenient or affordable therapy out there. (Hopefully, this will change if the West adopts and further develops this approach too.) But, they are potentially a permanent cure for patients with basically no side effects.
Source: Polish Academy of SciencesSo, it's not a cheap therapy (although cheap compared to hospital stays) yet, and the logistical process can take a month or more. However, it has a high success rate and is essentially a cure, not just a management treatment..
Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy
Centre of Excellence since October 2002
Results of bacteriophage treatment (1307 cases)
1307 patients with suppurative bacterial infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria of different species were treated with specific bacteriophages (BP). BP therapy was highly effective; full recovery was noted in 1123 cases (85.9%). In 134 cases (10.9%) transient improvement was observed and only in 50 cases (3.8%) BP treatment was found to be ineffective. The results confirm the high effectiveness of BP therapy in combating bacterial infections which do not respond to treatment with all available antibiotics.
2311 out of 2433 bacterial isolates (95%) of Staphylococcus were sensitive to the set of phages.
Out-patient care: $2,500.00 - $7,500.00
In-patient care: $5,000.00 - $20,000
Normally, it can take up to 4 weeks from receipt of your samples and reports to complete our laboratory analysis.
And, the Phage Therapy Center can even import to you your phages without you having to fly to Tbilisi, Georgia in person - as long as you get your doctor's prescription for that.
Although I'm not sure if this would decrease the cost of the treatment any - or if the out-patient estimate already assumes this..