Miracle Drugs - Promising Hope

Published on 26 Jun, 2020

Advancements in medical research have led to the discovery of drugs that cure diseases earlier considered fatal, thereby increasing the lifespans of those suffering as well as improving their quality of life. Currently, pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, and going by previous track records, may soon be able to help the world win this battle as well.

Technological advancements in the healthcare industry and the development of “miracle” drugs have increased the lifespans of people worldwide. Vaccines as well as effective treatments are easily available for diseases such as TB, malaria, and dengue, which were considered fatal until recently. Even cancer, one of the most dreaded diseases, is now proving to be curable if discovered in early stages.

Over the years, medical researchers have used emerging technologies to better understand diseases and their treatments. Big data analysis of various diseases has provided insights that were previously unknown. The knowledge base continues to increase with the constant addition of data related to reactions and effects of various medicines. Rapid developments in genomics and stem cell therapies have made certain unthinkable treatments possible today.

Some of the breakthrough discoveries of the past are:

  1. Drug for multiple sclerosis – This autoimmune disease, which still has a high fatality rate, attacks the fatty membrane around nerve fibers in the central nervous system. Research conducted by Tim Coetzee, Chief Research Officer of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, has made disease-modifying treatment for multiple sclerosis at an early stage a possibility. Researchers and neurologists are continuously working toward further improving the available treatments.
  2. Cure for Ebola – The deadly Ebola virus, which emerged in Africa, has a high mortality rate. However, a drug called ZMapp is currently under trial as a treatment for the disease. It is a monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment based on the concept of reverse engineering.
  3. Cancer treatments – Cancer, a fatal disease, affects each individual differently. Due to its dynamic nature, finding a single cure has proved to be difficult. However, over the years, researchers have discovered the radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy, which have been successful in varying degrees. In fact, if discovered at an early stage, the disease can now be completely eliminated, with low chances of a relapse.
  4. Treatment of cystic fibrosis – Medical researchers discovered a way to target an important protein that transports chloride ions to and from the lungs. Vertex Pharmaceuticals has been able to successfully control symptoms and reduce complications in patients affected by cystic fibrosis using this method, thus offering affected individuals a new lease on life.
  5. Heart failure treatment – Serelaxin, the breakthrough drug discovered by Novarits, is used to treat acute heart failure, and has reportedly managed to cut down deaths due to heart failures.

Apart from innovation in medicines, other technologies have also aided in improving the quality of healthcare. Some drugs have embedded ingestible microchips that help doctors to measure the dosages being administered. Devices that wirelessly inject drugs and send a patient’s electrocardiogram on the smart phone are being developed. Gamification of healthcare, based on principles of behavioral economics, is set to change the dynamics of the industry. Further advancements in biotechnology are also likely to yield numerous new vaccines and drugs, even for diseases considered chronic and degenerative. The human body is a complex machine that continuously adapts itself to the external environment. In the process, it contracts new diseases and illnesses over time. Therefore, medical research also needs to evolve continuously. The risky, uncertain environment makes it essential to find solutions using transformational research, therapies, and care delivery methodologies. Well-known pharmaceutical companies worldwide have been delivering sophisticated medicines through pivotal innovations made in R&D labs, bringing revolutionary changes in healthcare and treatment of various diseases. Eradication of diseases and innovations offer individuals a chance to live a full, high-quality life. Hope is what helps humans endure the most trying situations, and the medical industry promises just that—hope.