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Prescription Medicine

Prescriptions have been used in one form or another for centuries. Early prescription medicine constituted a plant or herb based remedy, often requiring mixing, steeping, or grinding. Foxglove and Poppy plants are just examples of these plant-based early medicines. Modern prescription medicine is carefully formulated from both the chemical compounds in plants and from synthetic components and billions of dollars are spent on research and development of new medicines.


Prescription medicine once meant nothing more than a recipe written out by a doctor or healer for anyone to prepare and create a remedy for certain general ailments. Today prescription medicine is carefully dispensed by a licensed pharmacist based on a specific written order from a physician. Pharmacists must compound the key components to each prescription medicine by including the drug, an activator, and even a preservative.

Regulation and control of prescription medicine belongs to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA must grant approval for all new medications to be marketed based on specific information including case studies, research and trials. Prescription medicine has been regulated by the FDA for over 50 years and the FDA has been in existence in one form or another for over 100 years.

It hasn’t been until very recently that prescription medicine accounted for any portion of the advertising industry’s profits. Manufacturers spend millions advertising their prescription medicine to prompt patients and doctors alike to take an interest in their product. From television ads to full page magazine spreads, prescription medicine is part of a necessary but complicated industry. In fact, prescription medicine has gone from merely identifying and harvesting specific plants and herbs during early civilization to one of the largest industries in the world. However, from the development of penicillin to the latest drug pending FDA approval, prescription medicine has saved lives around the world many times over.

Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.

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