Medicine is the art and science of treating a patient with a view to curing, treating the illness, predicting the course of the disease, prevention of the recurrence, palliation of the physical injury or ailment, and promoting the general health of the person. The word ‘materia’ is derived from the Latin Medicines which means ‘store’. In this sense it can be taken as meaning the store where medicines are kept. In fact all living organisms in nature are held together by an intricate network of chemical, enzymatic, and other processes which regulate the activity of the individual cells. All these functions of the living organism are properly carried out by the cells of the body.
The major part of the work of any doctor or physician consists in the preparation and administration of drugs for the relief of patients. The use of antibiotics as medicines has become common now a day. The administration of drugs like Tylenol and aspirin is considered as one of the easiest ways of dealing with acute or chronic diseases. But many of these drugs destroy the microflora of the gastrointestinal tract and also cause severe side effects. Therefore it is necessary to look for alternatives like alternate forms of medication that does not destroy the normal flora of the body and do not produce side effects.
Alternative forms of medications are available in abundance in the market but they are not approved by the FDA. For instance, there are ayurvedic (herbal) drugs, which are prepared by following the procedures of traditional Indian medicine but containing no chemicals or antibiotics. These drugs are called Traditional Remedies. They include herbs like ginkgo biloba, guggul, panax ginseng etc. Other important natural ingredients that are used as active ingredients in these drugs include goldenseal, licorice etc.
As the medical advances are so rapid and the healthcare problems are increasing day by day, various new types of drugs are being introduced in the market. But they are found to be less effective as compared to the older ones. Hence the major part of the drug processing has to be done again in order to produce better medicines. Pharmaceutical companies are spending huge amounts in research and development of newer drugs. But in spite of this the demand for older drugs is also increasing. Hence they have to edit the dosage of existing drugs that they release in the market.
In order to reduce the dosage of medicines, manufacturers of drugs to try to increase the proportions of inactive ingredients, reduce their strength and also change their names. So they can patent their products. But this has not worked well in the case of essential medicines. To combat this situation, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued certain regulations that are called “patents on drugs”.
Hence we can say that drugs have played an important role in medical history and have helped in curing many diseases and improving the quality of life of millions of people all around the world. But the ultimate responsibility of developing a medicine lies with the pharmaceutical engineers. They are the ones who have to develop the formula in the right way so that it can be made ready for manufacturing. Hence they need a lot of support from the industries and other consultants in this regard.