Nuestro problema con las otras drogas: los medicamentos

MILÁN – Con toda la atención que los medios oficiales y los medios de comunicación prestan al comercio mundial de drogas ilícitas, el público tiene, en el mejor de los casos, un conocimiento vago de los graves problemas que afectan la producción, los ensayos y la venta de las legales: los medicamentos que tomamos para tratar o curar todo, desde el sida hasta la fiebre amarilla.

La creación de nuevos medicamentos es un proceso complejo y lento. Comienza con una idea y requiere una gran diversidad de aptitudes para llevarla a buen término: síntesis o extracción de moléculas más o menos complicadas, prueba de su efecto terapéutico en cultivos de células y animales, pruebas de toxicidad y estudios clínicos.

A lo largo de ese camino, muchos medicamentos potenciales acaban retirados e incluso medicamentos que han dado buenos resultados en los ensayos afrontan otro obstáculo: el de la aprobación reglamentaria. Por fin, el medicamento llega al mercado, donde se debe seguirlo de cerca, porque muchas reacciones perjudiciales sólo se detectan con un gran número de pacientes y después de años de utilización.

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