There are several ways in which biotechnology is used in the world of medicine and health. However, there are a few primary applications where the technology has been most successful and these include pharmaceutical drugs discovery and production as well as gene therapy.
First, let’s take a look at the developments regarding drugs production.
This field can be split into two distinct sections. The first being the production of existing drugs. The technology has enabled the mass production of basic drugs much more cheaply that they once were. Scientists can essentially replicate a drug which may naturally occur in nature for a fraction of the cost of retrieving it from elsewhere. This means that many more people have access to things that we now take for granted in a basic healthcare system because for one they are more affordable and secondly there is enough of them available to go around. In this sense, the two reinforce each other when something is less in demand in the market, and drugs do operate under general market standards, they become much cheaper. Biotechnology has also helped us discover many new drugs such as penicillin. This particular discovery will be discussed in greater detail in another section.
Pharmacogenomics, which is a form of biotechnology, is a field of study applied to genetic reactions to different types of drugs in an individual’s body. This means that doctors can tailor the dose differently for men, women, children and different ethnicities. This science has also been used in the development of cancer treatment whereby doctors believe that in the future they will be able to adjust and develop treatments specifically for the individual with the disease, thus making it much more effective.
Genetic testing is also an area where biotechnology has made a huge impact. By testing for genetic diseases before birth, doctors are able to diagnose and often remove the damaged DNA thus reducing the proliferation of conditions.