The pharmaceutical industry makes, discovers, develops, and sells pharmaceuticals or medication to be dispensed to the public, with the primary purpose of healing them from illness, treat them, or relieve their symptoms. Pharmaceutical industries can deal in both brand-name and generic drugs and medical devices. Some of the major categories of pharmaceuticals are antibiotics, anti-psychotic drugs, cardiovascular medicines, cancer drugs, hormones, macrolane, and non-hormone drugs. A number of other categories are also available, which include diagnostic and therapeutic tests, medications used to treat mental disorders, medications for photoreceptor disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, oral contraceptives, medicines used to treat allergic conditions, drugs used in cancer treatment, and psychotropic drugs. Several pharmaceutical companies engaged in research, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceuticals in the US produce more than ninety percent of the world’s pharmaceuticals.
A number of drug development projects are carried out by the pharmaceutical manufacturing industries across the world. One such project is the “printed drug”. This refers to the production of generic drugs that are produced in a drug development facility by using only one form of DNA. Another is the “plasmid-based drug”. In this project, genetic materials called plasmids are used instead of DNA for producing the desired results. An additional program called “intake and release design” is carried out by pharma industries, which involves the process of assembling different parts of the molecule of interest into the form of a solid, which was once inside the cell.
Another area of growth in the pharmaceutical industry is in the field of diagnostics. The major pharmaceutical companies are working on technologies that will enable doctors to diagnose and treat many different diseases, including cancer. Some of the diseases for which scientists are striving are diabetes, infectious diseases like AIDS and hepatitis, neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, heart diseases, metabolic disorders etc. Other areas of development in the field of pharma are in the area of bio-medical science. Here, pharmaceutical graduates are studying how their knowledge about the body will be translated into information that will help improve the medical advancements in that particular field. Some of these studies include the development of new medicines that will fight against common diseases and save millions of lives.
A few decades ago, the pharmaceutical companies were restricted to make basic drugs. However, after the First World War, they were allowed to introduce cotton wool swabs into patients’ bodies so that they could test the absorption of penicillin. After that, various other viruses were discovered and the pharmaceutical industry was allowed to come up with new and improved medicines. As a result of this, the pharmaceutical industry emerged as a world leader and today, they produce around 90 percent of the medicines that are used in hospitals throughout the world. With so many diseases to treat and medicines to produce, it is no wonder that pharmaceuticals are considered to be one of the most profitable industries in the world.
The origins of pharmaceuticals can be traced back in centuries when the Chinese began using herbs for medicinal purposes. Later on, Ayurvedic medicines and other natural substances were used for the same purpose. It was then that pharmaceutical plants began producing medications that could cure common diseases. During the nineteenth century, Price Laws were passed by the U.S. government forcing manufacturers to keep the price of their medicines at a level that could be affordable to all people.
This has resulted in a situation where the new drugs are still very expensive. In order to curb the inflation of drug prices, countries like India import cheap medicines from China. Also, many drug makers are finding ways to produce new drugs that could address these issues. These negotiations are still in process. But, it is clear that the reasons behind increasing drug prices are due to new drugs and higher demand for them, combined with the slowing down of the economy.