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Say Goodbye to Pharmaceutical Companies?
February 25, 2013 at 12:53 AM

I watched a lecture today by a chemist who said that some day soon(no, he didn't say when, LOL), people will be able to PRINT their own medications.   No, not the LABEL for the drugs, the drugs themselves!

A person would purchase some software, 'inks' and create his own medication.   Would purchase the molecular formula for the medication, and then proceed to 'print' his own medication.

Kind of interesting.

One thing he left out, was what financial incentive would there be to do all the research and development, and get thru the federal drug approval process, if the pharm companies weren't selling the actual medication.   I suppose some profit could be made selling the software, the molecular formula for the medication, the 'inks', and so on, but actually all the molecular formulas for all medication are public domain - so it would be a matter of selling the inks, the software.

Weird future.


  • LindaClement
    February 25, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Mmm... replicators.

    Star Trek was right about so many things...

  • Chasesmum3109
    February 25, 2013 at 1:45 AM
    Wow cool
  • soulofsunmama
    February 25, 2013 at 1:48 AM
    Guns are right there with it too
  • Piskie
    by Piskie
    February 25, 2013 at 2:17 AM
    3d printing will change everything.... Needed some curtain hooks, made some. Wanted a few eyes for my stuffed toys, made them.
    It's a huge game changer.
  • somuchlove4U
    February 25, 2013 at 2:41 AM
    I guess I'm not geeky enough. I really don't get this.
  • Piskie
    by Piskie
    February 25, 2013 at 2:48 AM
    3d printers are becoming a lot more mainstream now. They're printers that can printwith many things... They've done organ parts, as well as chocolate, plastics etc. Like a normal printer, except it prints in 3 dimensions.

    Quoting somuchlove4U:

    I guess I'm not geeky enough. I really don't get this.

  • stormcris
    February 25, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    It would take a lot of change for that to happen. 

  • moneysaver6
    February 25, 2013 at 4:05 AM
    I would think that consistency in dosage if it's not done correctly would be an issue.
  • Chillisarah
    February 25, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    This is interesting. Recently, scientists used a 3D printer to build an artificial ear out of living cartilage cells. 3D printing is pretty amazing.

  • lancet98
    February 25, 2013 at 7:06 AM


    Well, think of it this way.   In the 'past', a factory was required to manufacture things people want.   Anything people want was manufactured in large quantities, shipped here and there to various stores, and then sold to individual people.   A huge network has grown up around this 'manufacturing' - truck drivers, trains, train tracks, train manufacturers, train part manufacturers, airplane builders, airports, gift shops in the airports, air traffic controllers, restaurants for the truck drivers, unions for the truck builders, trucking schools, truck driving instructors and examiners....and so on.

    In the 'future', a person buys a little bitty  3 d printer and its supplies and software, and manufactures their own things.   The 3 d printer still has to be manufactured, but it's a tiny little lightweight compact thing.   People download 'recipes' and 'blueprints' for anything from a Return of the Jedi action figure to a sinus head ache medication.

    It's comparable to what's happened with videos.  It used to be, the only real way to make a movie, was to set up an expensive studio, hire actors and make a movie, then show it in large buildings called 'theatres'.   Now, almost anyone can buy a video camera, post the video on a free website and almost everyone can watch it.

    To be realistic, it's not likely that this would revolutionize the world to the point where there were no factories at all.  For one thing the making of 3 d printers and their supplies would still exist, but companies would sell blueprints and recipes on the internet, and people would download them. one has been able to figure out how to end poverty.   So there would always be poor people who could not afford, whatever technology you might invent.

    In other words, while we're wondering how to get our car started in the morning to get to our job so we can pay our rent, a large percentage of people of the world are starting their several mile morning hike to find firewood.  

    I'm also curious as to how 3d printers would handle very large parts that had very heavy ingredients, and how everyone would suddenly become an expert at assembling heavy machinery and gigantic turbines, lol.

    In other words, such a thing may be very practical for printing out Return of the Jedi action figures, but not everything is so simple to deal with post-3-d-printing!    Meaning that so many things require immense skill to assemble, test, quality control and tune, let alone repair, maintain and update, that they are not practical for 'every man' to print in his living room and go use.

    I'm not even entirely sure that it's so easy to create ALL molecules.   Some, sure - some simple medications, some plastics, sure.

    It might make a case for limited 'distributed manufacturing'.....


    Quoting somuchlove4U:

    I guess I'm not geeky enough. I really don't get this.



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