Are You Ready For These Changes in The Pharma-Industry?
You might be taken by surprise.
Technology is changing every aspect of our lives, from how we consume content to the way we relate to others. Then why we don’t see improvements in health care?
I’m not talking only about the usage of old devices that run in outdated software. It’s about the way the pharmaceutical industry is taking a lot of time to change and improve its service. Many technologies aren’t used in this important part of our lives. I’ve never experienced a change in the way I take my asthma medication since I was born.
But don’t worry change is on its way. I’ve found 3 tech innovations that will bring some updates on the industry.
- Personalized medicine
- 3-D printed drugs
We might not see these changes, with so many things trying to get us this year. So you might as well read about them ;)
How the Heck a robot will fight cancer? By getting into your body to kick some cancer cells ass.
Yep, they exist, the Drugbots (My name to them). The first proof of their functionality has been tested in mice and pigs. The results show that the robots are triggered in the site of the tumor. That makes them more effective and harmless than any drug out there.
The nanorobots are made from DNA, which is rolled into origami-like structures. They contain within themselves a component that reduces blood flow in cells. Once the robots reach the tumor they release the component, making the cells starve to death.
You might think that the robots will take over your body if you let them, but that technology is very far from this one. The robots don’t have brains, they find tumor cells by recognizing certain chemical signals produced on their surface.
Think about it like this, you get blindfolded to dive into a pool. Your aim is to find a coin that is glued to one side of the pool. The coin although small has on its surface a different feel. Thus you inspect the whole pool until you feel the coin in the wall of the pool.
That is how these nanobots work, they are introduced in the body near the site of the tumor. Once they find it they go to town on it.
This new kind of medicine has three key benefits in comparison to today's treatment:
- Cancer drugs have no specificity, meaning that they harm all cells in the body. Nanobots do.
- Cancer drugs can harm organs that take care of metabolism, like the liver and kidney. Nanobots don’t.
- Cancer drugs have a systemic effect, while nanobots can be localized only in the tumor site.
The biggest potential of this new technology is that it can be used for the treatment of other diseases. Improving the quality and effectiveness of all pharmaceutical drugs.
I’ll Take The Usual With Double The Strenght, Please
Personalized medicine will revolutionize the way we consume medications. This new kind of tailor-made drug has the potential to relieve you from all sickness.
How wonderful would it be if you never got sick? You’ll be taking the medicine for the disease before it presents.
That’s the vision that Pharmacogenomics is working on. This science is researching the possibility of adapting drugs to the specific genome of the patient. A genome is the conformation of your DNA, meaning that its how you are made. This sequence that makes your genome defines what type of diseases you’re prone to have in the future.
In that way, a scientist will analyze your genome to find out what type of medication you’ll need in the future. It can even help with the prevention of the disease, letting you know what to do to avoid it.
Have you ever taken a drug and needed to take another dose because it didn’t help? Or maybe you take one and makes you feel awful…
Those effects are caused by our metabolism rate, which is defined by our genome. There are a few types of metabolism that will determine how fast you can break down a drug inside of your body. Some people do it very fast so the effect never shows up, while others do it slowly making them sicker.
Pharmacogenomics has the solution for that, it allows the pharmacist to know the exact dose you’ll need. This will change radically the way we take medicines. Allowing us the benefit of a full effect without so many consequences.
Can I Have Mine in The Shape of a Puppy?
Well, that’s not exactly how 3-D printing drugs work, but you got the main idea down. This new type of service allows patients to acquire drugs that are made at the moment for them. This means that the industry will be able to make drugs on demand. No more batches that have to be sell in a time frame.
Having a machine that creates the drugs in small batches the confidence and safety. That is the pinnacle of 3-D printing applied in pharmacy. This will allow us to cut down on costs and produce medications for specific patients. A major problem in the industry is the incapability to produce orphan drugs.
Orphan drugs are medications that treat rare diseases, called “orphan diseases”. This kind of medical condition affects less than 200,000 people in the country. That might sound like a lot but the research and production of new drugs cost billions of dollars. Thus, if the market is small there is no point in making the drug.
Pharmaceutical companies are for-profit. They will never develop a drug that doesn’t make money.
That’s the reason this new technology will revolutionize the industry. It will make available all kinds of drugs that are for only a handful of people. This can be combined with the development of personalized drugs, creating specific medications.
The pharmaceutical industry has applied the model of “One size fits all” for too long. In the new era of pharma, the commonalities will be specific and personalized medications. We’re going to see better made and specific drugs in the future.