Drug Research

According to the WHO, the number of deaths worldwide is as high as 58.2 million a year, of which more than 16 million are due to non-lethal diseases, most of which are aggravated by the lack of timely drug treatment. If these patients were treated in time, that figure should be halved. Too many health conditions in developing countries still lack effective, appropriate and affordable solutions. Too little money is directed at problems that disproportionately affect the world’s poor. According to some estimates, only 10% of medical research is devoted to diseases that account for 90% of the global disease burden. Moreover, due to limited support for some of the most neglected diseases and population studies, the world’s best scientists are not fully involved.

About half a million people worldwide die of malaria every year, mostly children. Tu Youyou, a Chinese pharmacist, has studied Classics of traditional Chinese medicine and pioneered the extraction of artemisinin from Artemisia annua, a Chinese herbal medicine, for the treatment of malaria, an infectious disease caused by Plasmodium monocytogenes, which has saved millions of lives. The mortality rate of malaria has been reduced by half in the past 15 years,. Therefore, Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015. However, due to the complexity of artemisinin extraction process, there is no suitable method to improve the yield in a short time, and many countries and regions still can not use the drug widely. As a result, many children with malaria still do not receive timely treatment, even though artemisinin has been worked out. If we invest more in drug research, simplify drug production processes and reduce drug costs, these drugs will be more widely used, and in the future,millions of children will be treated in a timely manner without losing their lives. We urgently need to develop and implement new strategies to achieve the eradication of polio. We need new vaccines for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB). These efforts will greatly enhance human well-being.