Any chemical that cures a disease is called a medicine, but also, that same chemical is sometimes called a drug. The distinction between medicines and drugs is made by the fact that some chemicals are found rather addictive (people find it difficult to go on without them because these chemicals alter the way your body and brain functions) and so these chemicals are termed as drugs. This is primarily the reason why drugs cannot be bought without a proper prescription from a physician.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was formed in 1906 and is responsible for regulating prescription drugs that are made available to the public. All new prescription drugs have to go through a strict approval process and it is the FDA that then decides whether or not the drug will do more harm than good. Despite much effort, there are still illicit drugs that are being used for purposes that have nothing to do with curing a disease. The one thing that history teaches us is that something that was originally created to do good, almost always ends up doing bad. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime publishes an annual report called the World Drug Report that details the previous year’s drug trends.
While a great part of the population sits at home and gets stoned, there is a relatively small part of the population that works days and nights to create chemicals that help relieve genuine pain. On the 9th of March 2011, the FDA announced the approval of a new drug called Benlysta to treat lupus. This is the first drug to be released for the treatment of lupus after almost 50 years. For those of you that do not know, lupus is a disease in which the body’s immune system starts to attack vital organs and other healthy tissues. On 25th March 2011, it was confirmed that the FDA had approved a new drug called Ipilimumab for the treatment of advanced melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. 23rd May 2011 was a great day for Hepatitis-C patients since the FDA approved a new drug called Telaprevir which stops the virus from reproducing; of course this statement comes regardless of the price set for the drug. Unfortunately, there are still two important drugs that are yet to be approved by the FDA. One of them is Xarelto, an anticoagulant. It is so far being used with an indication that states it is not FDA approved, and from the frequent delays in approval from the FDA, it seems that the hopes of it being approved aren’t exactly too high. The other drug is INCB18424, and an FDA approval is expected soon since they are down to testing the last patient. This drug could possibly treat myelofibrosis which is a disorder of the bone marrow.
Tips and comments
As amazing as it is to hear about drugs that could potentially cure fatal diseases, it is even more depressing to hear about deaths caused by the abuse of the same drugs. Not many people know that the famous drug Heroin which is now considered illegal was actually created to cure people of their addiction to morphine. Supposedly, no one thought about the addiction that people could develop to heroin itself
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