A Future Without Medication!


He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything; hence, we all strive to stay healthy. Medications have a major role in fighting diseases and helping us restore our health after suffering from health problems. Between the past, the present, and the future, the pharmaceutical industry has witnessed and is still experiencing significant development. It is expected that more complex chemical compounds or antibiotics are still to be discovered with a better ability to fight bacteria. Yet, can we dispense with medications in the future?

Several techniques have recently emerged to treat diseases; they may determine our ability to dispense with medications in the future. Will these techniques fundamentally prevent some diseases from occurring? Let us review some of the techniques and their development.

Gene Therapy

The idea of cultivating genes and using them to treat diseases began in the 1980s. The idea is to grow a specific gene to stimulate the formation of a specific protein, the absence of which was the cause of the disease; in other words, this gene regenerates the missing protein.

Unfortunately, in 1999, the unexpected death of an American patient as a result of gene therapy led to putting the research in this field on hold for years. In 2012, however, the European Medicines Agency certified the drug Glybera as a treatment for chronic pancreatitis; it is a gene therapy now available to patients. As a result, gene therapy researches have resumed.


Most medications today are made from chemical compounds; can they be made from living organisms or biological materials in the future?

In the past, leeches were used to treat high blood pressure; they were placed on the patient’s forehead to absorb blood and lower blood pressure. Now, scientists have discovered that leeches have the potential to maintain the blood’s liquidity. They secrete an anti-clotting protein known as Hirudin while attaching to the human skin; thus, facilitating blood absorption. The treatment period ranges between 20 minutes and 45 minutes, during which 15 millimeters of blood can be absorbed; a very small amount compared to its benefits.

As a result, leeches are used in the treatment of clotting; they are also used to improve the blood circulation of diabetic patients who are subjected to leg amputation. They help keep the tissues alive by keeping the blood flowing through them. Leeches are also used in micro surgeries, plastic surgery, reconstruction, and restoration, to maintain the blood flow in the organ being rebuilt, such as in reconstructing the nose and fingers. They help the organ return to its natural state and in the body’s acceptance of it, as well as speeding its healing.

On the other hand, scientists have discovered the ability of some worms to treat wounds because of their anti-bacterial effect. It is worth mentioning that the green fly larva is used in many medical fields, but the obstacle to its use is the excessive sensitivity of some patients to it. Some types of beneficial parasites are also used to strengthen the immune system and treat some diseases, such as asthma, allergies, and skin infections.

Biotherapy may be a strange field, but how many strange areas have evolved and are now normal. However, it still requires a great effort to study the active substances in these organisms, in order to make them easier to use and not to harm human health.

In reality, we do not know whether other drugs will be developed in the future or not. From the invention of penicillin by Alexander Fleming, to the discovery of the human genome, many years of work have passed during which the drug industry has developed extensively. What I know well is that science is limitless, and that it is the only way for nations to develop.






United States National Library of Medicine

The original article was published in SCIplanet, Winter 2020 Issue.

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