Pharmaceuticals

Resources for Improving Pharmaceutical Industry Operations

  • What are Pharmaceuticals?

    Pharmaceutical companies are primarily responsible for the development and manufacturing of new drugs. Research and development of new medications can be both costly and time-consuming, and patents help to ensure some security that the company will be able to recover the cost of developing new medication. In the United States the Federal government assumes the responsibility for rigorous product testing guidelines to ensure the safety of new medications.
  • The History of Pharmaceuticals

    Although the documented sale of naturally occurring remedies for ailments, particularly plant-based medicines, stretches back hundreds of years, pharmaceutical chemistry is a relatively recent development. The rational and scientific tendencies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, coupled with the industrialization of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, produced the first large-scale pharmaceutical companies in the mid-nineteenth century. Many of the first pharmaceutical companies developed almost accidentally from chemical dye companies in Germany and Switzerland. In the United States the Food and Drug Act of 1906 had given the Federal government substantial authority to evaluate and classify pharmaceuticals in response to the sometimes dangerous patent medicines of the nineteenth century, and the FDA has gradually expanded its regulation of the industry. The discovery of penicillin in 1928, and its subsequent development as an antibiotic, led to mass production during World War II and helped to expand research and development after the war. After side-effects of Thalidomide, an anti-nausea drug that caused severe birth defects, became known in 1959, the FDA established more stringent testing requirements and the long approval process that modern drugs must undergo prior to sale.
  • Modern Trends in Pharmaceuticals

    The industry faces some significant challenges, both from the expansion of research and development worldwide and patent legislation that has increasingly led companies to tighten control of their intellectual property. Recent and significant advances, particularly in genetics, have opened vast new possibilities for pharmaceutical development, especially for the production of biological drugs.

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