A Short Story About the Future of Pharma


The curious case of Brian Mahony

Bryant’s phone quickly blinked. Message from the heart. Literally, from your heart, start reading sms. The nano-swim sensor circulating in his veins ran into something weird that might need to be checked, so it sent a notification to his smart device. One of them has decided to arrange a visit with his family doctor.

In the afternoon of January 2035, the sun shone brightly on the icy streets of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Bryant was nervous about the visit and tried to divert his attention and take a walk under the cold pine trees. He doubted his old illness was back and he did not want to accept the torture again. However, his cellphone continually and strictly reminded him that he had a date to attend. He did not have to wait a minute when he walked into the GP’s office and the clerk smiled at him well.

But when Brian went to see the doctor, he knew there was no good news here. He is right: his endocarditis has recurred. To confirm the diagnosis, the GP examined Bryant’s chest patch, recorded ECG data, punctured his finger, performed a blood test and performed a rapid chest x-ray. Unfortunately, the results show that endocarditis and disease pathogens are particularly aggressive and rare bacteria.

Personalized drug design instead of one-fits-for-all solution

Brian’s GP can not open the right antibiotic right away. At first, he worked hard to study the patient’s genetic background; how his body metabolized certain drugs and was at risk of anaphylactic reactions. In the 2010s, this practice was named pharmacogenomics. As a result, doctors can improve their health and reduce the risk of side effects, and patients can save a lot of money by avoiding ineffective medications. Therefore, Bryant’s bacteria proved to be resistant to certain types of antibiotics, which is effective in his treatment. Those must be excluded.

Now, his doctor turned to artificial intelligence for more help. A clever algorithm for treating Bryan specifically based on his antibiotic resistance and rare bacteria. They only need a few hours to get the result. Unlike the case of the 2010s, the design of a new drug usually took months or even years instead of clinical trials.

Organs-on-chips instead of large-scale clinical trials

When the intelligent algorithm on the supercomputer found a potential molecular combination to help treat Bryan’s disease, it found that the drug’s solution was to redesign an existing drug and no similar clinical trial was necessary until the drug was printed .

In any case, traditional clinical trials were replaced by a technology called “tissue-chips” in the 1920s, in silicate testing and bio-cleaning. On the experimental drug, both animals and humans are no longer tested, costs are reduced, and the time it takes to develop new drugs is greatly reduced. Many experts have believed that in 2010, these technologies, including the chip, may revolutionize clinical trials and completely replace animal experiments. These tiny “chip-like” devices are designed to mimic the way the lungs or heart work at the cellular level. They are translucent and therefore provide a window into the internal workings of an organ. They better mimic the physiological function of the body and thus better assess the response to new drug candidates.

3D printing drugs in the pharmacy

In Brian’s case, when the AI algorithm eventually designs the right medicine and his doctor agrees with the right dose, he can go to the pharmacy at the hospital to have the pharmacist print out his personalized tablets. This is a common practice, but it took many years for people to get used to it.

In the 2010s, 3D printing was used in healthcare. The technology at the time was revolutionary. Today, this is a common practice. The machine prints a layer of powdery medicine that dissolves faster than regular tablets. In addition, you can have your pharmacist use different shapes of 3D printed medications, such as dinosaurs or octopuses, to make it easier for children to take their medicine. Now, Bryant can also make pharmacists print Batman or a small Porsche, but doctors agree that the small pyramid shape makes it easier to deliver the drug, so he should swallow his drug in the form of an Egyptian pyramid.

Health counseling meeting points instead of traditional pharmacies

When Brian went to the hospital pharmacy to buy medicine, he directly felt the benefits of automation. As the drug delivery robot mutters quietly in the background and monotonically chooses the need for the medication, he can talk with the pharmacist about his illness. She is kind and gives his valuable advice how to make himself feel better.

Postmodern pharmacies are not just agencies for drug distribution, they are given more time with the help of technology and they become more important in screening patients. They serve as health managers, assist healthy patients, and patients with medical conditions, manage their treatment, administer medication for people taking multiple drugs, advise on ailments and provide public health services.

Bryant is content with the speed at which he receives medication and how his doctor coordinates his needs with pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies. Twenty years ago, when he was first diagnosed with endocarditis, he remembered his own experiences. At that time, in the 2010s, the system was completely different. His treatment took a long time, he had to wait too much for medication, his doctor could not find the right medicine for him, and he was often allergic. These make his illness almost unbearable.

Now, pharmacogenomics, 3D printing, robotics or artificial intelligence have turned the medical and pharmaceutical industries into systems that are truly designed for his needs. He also assumes that so is the need of all other patients.

It depends on us; what kind of future we have created? Trends and technology show that the role and status of drug design, manufacturing and distribution, pharmacy or insurance companies will be radically different from today.

To figure out how to reach a positive future, the latest medical futurist e-book on shaping the future of medicine can provide some guidance and a clear picture. Continue to read!


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