The MIT engineers created the device to combat the laborious and time-consuming process of how drugs are made now: in large scale factories, often thousands of miles away from where the drugs are needed, and requiring multiple steps to make one pill. The new device, however, promises to change all that by making drugs rapidly, in fewer steps, and in the geographic area where the drugs are needed most, hastening delivery times, reports MedicalXpress.
The engineers say their machine could be placed in regions of disease outbreaks and on the battlefield and be programmed to make on-demand drugs needed there at will from raw materials. They also say the machine would be useful in hospitals that need a large amount of a drug on a regular basis or to make “orphan drugs”–those that are needed to treat rare conditions, but which are costly to make in normal drug factories because of the low volume of the drug that’s needed. (by Michael Grothaus)