When people think of wonder drugs they think back to Alexander Fleming’s penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, or aspirin, used as a painkiller and also as an anti-clotting agent for patients with high risk of stroke or heart failure.
But there are thousands of drugs that have changed the course of history and saved lives or enhanced the quality of life for millions of people around the world.
Here are some of the biggest approvals in the last 10 years:
A new drug approved by the FDA on March 28, 2017. Ocrevus is used for the treatment of two types of multiple sclerosis: relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and primary progressive MS (PPMS). It is a breakthrough drug as it’s the first to be approved for the treatment of PPMS. It works by targeting the specific B-cells that lead to demyelination, slowing down the progression of the disease. Although it is a very new drug, it’s hoped that it will be life-changing for millions of MS patients around the world. (Source: multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com)
Used for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic attacks and bulimia, Prozac is the world’s most widely prescribed antidepressant. Approved by the FDA in December 1987, Prozac works by controlling the serotonin levels in the brain. Source: World History Project
Zidovudine (also known as AZT) is a drug used for HIV and AIDs patients and was approved by the FDA in 1987. It reduces the amount of HIV in a patient’s body. It is often used in conjunction with lamivudine and abacavir to help stop or slow the production of HIV, allowing the patient’s immune system to build and making them less susceptible to potentially deadly infections. (Source: Aidsmap.com)
In 1922, Canadian doctor Frederick Banting discovered that extracting insulin from the pancreas of a dog could help diabetic patients. The insulin was later taken from pigs and cows rather than dogs but some patients had an allergic reaction to it. Genentech created the first synthetic insulin in 1978—recombinant DNA insulin— which caused no allergic reactions and could be mass produced, changing the lives of diabetes patients the world over. (Source: howstuffworks.com)
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