The Future of Pharma
Pharmaceutical companies are making incredible breakthroughs in drug development. The most recent includes finding a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time. According to GlobeNewswire, the global pharmaceutical market is set to reach over $1.7 trillion by 2025. The future of pharma includes several promising advancements in the near future.
Artificial Intelligence in Drug Development
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will increasingly become part of developing and designing new drugs. Companies such as Atomwise, Turbine, and Deep Genomics are now using AI to identify the best drugs for specific conditions. The National Institutes of Health lists several ways artificial intelligence can benefit the design of new drugs.
- Predict drug-protein interactions
- Design multi-target drug molecules
- Develop insights into reaction mechanisms
- Make predictions of new therapeutic uses
Innovative Ways of Testing Drugs
Drug testing is already beginning to take place on virtual models instead of people and animals. Currently, drug trials are not possible completely through simulation but a hybrid approach is already taking place. The process will involve the simulation of organs and the testing of drugs on these instead of actual humans. In silico drug trials began in 2020 due to the complications of conducting traditional trials due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Robotic Manufacturing Processes
The future of pharma will include robots helping to manufacture medications and assisting in keeping the supply chain running smoothly. This will shorten the production cycle to get the medications you need on the market more quickly. The company Denso Robotics is using robots to automate tasks during the manufacturing process. These robots can meet strict hygiene requirements for medical manufacturing and drug preparation. Robots can also assist manual labor by helping workers with heavy workloads and long hours.
3D Drug Printing
People currently take medications that are exactly the same as what millions of other individuals take. With 3D drug printing, you can have a drug made at your local pharmacy specifically for you. Everything from medical history to genetics helps determine the exact type of medication and the dosage necessary to achieve the best results. According to 3D Natives, the market for 3D development could reach $437 million by 2025.
Empowering patients in the development of drugs is extremely important. Engaging patients in treatment and discussion can make data more accessible and actionable. Drug companies will increasingly involve patients in drug design and even in much of the decision-making process. Regular people will sit on boards of the largest pharma companies and lead companies in making changes that benefit actual patients.
Reducing Counterfeit Drugs
Counterfeit drugs are a global health crisis. Approximately 1 percent of drugs are counterfeit in developed countries and up to 10 percent globally. The fake drug trade is a billion dollar business that leads to millions of deaths. Blockchain technology can reduce the amount of counterfeit drugs on the market by using a barcode record system that keeps track of medications throughout the distribution process. With tracing occurring in real time by both patients and companies, it is much more difficult for criminal networks to successfully produce and sell counterfeit drugs.
The future of pharma will involve a variety of advancing technologies that bring more effective medications to the market faster than ever before. Pharma will also empower the individual while reducing the amount of counterfeit drugs.