Unserer anderes Drogenproblem

MAILAND: Bei all der offiziellen und medialen Aufmerksamkeit, die dem weltweiten Handel mit illegalen Drogen gewidmet wird, hat die Öffentlichkeit bestenfalls eine vage Vorstellung von den ernsten Problemen, die die Produktion, Überprüfung und den Verkauf der legalen Variante betreffen – der Medikamente, die wir einnehmen, um alles von AIDS bis hin zur Zygomykose zu behandeln oder zu heilen.

Die Entwicklung neuer Medikamente ist ein komplexer und langwieriger Prozess. Er beginnt mit einer Idee und erfordert eine breite Vielzahl von Fertigkeiten, um diese Idee zur Verwirklichung zu bringen: die Synthese oder Herauslösung von mehr oder weniger komplizierten Molekülen, den Beleg ihrer therapeutischen Wirksamkeit in Zellkulturen und Tieren, die Überprüfung auf ihre mögliche Toxizität und klinische Studien.

Im Verlaufe dieses Weges werden viele potenzielle Medikamente zurückgezogen, und selbst erfolgreich getestete Medikamente stehen vor der zusätzlichen Hürde einer Zulassung durch die Aufsichtsbehörden. Schließlich kommt das Medikament auf den Markt, wo es genau überwacht werden muss, denn viele Nebenwirkungen werden erst nach jahrelangem Einsatz an einer großen Anzahl von Patienten festgestellt.

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