The development of therapeutic agents for the prevention and treatment of diseases has played a vital role in medicine for thousands of years. However, it has only been in the past 500 years or so that searching for new medicines and drugs has found itself in the realm of science.
If we look back at history, in the 1900s, one-third of all deaths in America were from three leading causes: diarrhea, tuberculosis, or pneumonia. However, nowadays, the chances of dying from these conditions are relatively low. This is mainly thanks to the production of new drugs.
There are currently thousands of drugs on the market in the US. However, while this may be the case, scientists argue that more drugs are still needed. But why is it essential to discover new drugs when we already have thousands to choose from? Keep reading below to find out:
1. Treat Previously Untreatable Conditions
One of the main reasons we need to discover new drugs is to treat previously untreatable conditions. Scientists need to use gene editing technology and cell line development to research and understand illnesses and produce drugs that can treat them.
2. Overcome New Diseases
As we interact more and more with other people, the number of new diseases we encounter will likely increase. Over the past few years, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all learned how easy it is for new diseases to appear. Thanks to this, it’s essential that scientists produce new drugs that can treat the symptoms of these diseases and prevent them from spreading any further.
3. Produce Low-Cost Drugs
While there are thousands of drugs on the market, many are too expensive for us to afford. This is especially true for people who live in developing countries. Thanks to this, it’s imperative that pharmaceutical companies develop more affordable drugs.
When thinking about illnesses and diseases, it’s essential to be aware that disease is unlikely to be eliminated unless it is eradicated everywhere. This means that you don’t just have to cure people in your own country; you also have to treat people in less developed countries.
4. Drug Resistance
Another reason why it’s so crucial to develop new drugs is to treat people who have become ill with drug-resistant fungi or bacteria. These so-called “superbugs” kill over 700,000 people each year around the world, and this figure is only expected to increase. But how do bacteria and fungi become drug-resistant?
It is believed this happens because of the overuse of medications, so we need to produce a wider variety of medications to prevent this from happening again.
5. Different Bodies and Metabolisms
We all have different metabolisms. Our metabolisms cause people to react differently to drugs and medication. This means that we need to produce new drugs that are suitable for a range of different people.
As you can see, scientists and researchers must continue to work together to discover new drugs. Not only do we need new drugs that can treat currently untreatable conditions, but we also need to be able to produce drugs that can overcome new infections in the future.