Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

Side effects may be hard to predict for biologic drugs

Prescription drugs are constantly evolving in the U.S. There is a large amount of new drugs each year that help thousands of people. It is exciting to see all the new developments that can help and even cure diseases that weren't curable just a decade ago. But sometimes these drugs can be defective and can cause dangerous drug side effects that can really hurt people.

One type of pharmaceutical drug that is being seen more and more is a biologic drug. A biologic drug is one that is created using living cells and has a complex mixture. Other drugs are made synthetically. Although biologic drugs do go through testing, once they are given to humans they can have side effects that are difficult to predict. The drugs affect how cells interact and many of the cells are found deep in the body which makes testing difficult.

There is a new test for biologic drugs that can help test for side effects before it is administered to humans. The test uses stem cells from a donor which then grow different types of cells which can mimic a person's blood stream. This test may be more accurate in predicting how a biologic drug will react with a patient and can even help medical professionals test a drug before it is given to a patient.

The development of new and improved prescription drugs has come a long way. There are so many scientific advances that make these drugs possible. But it is important for drug manufacturers to make sure their drugs are safe so that unexpected severe adverse effects do not occur.

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