GIVING PRESCRIPTIONS IRON!
Prescription drugs can be costly because they are pharmaceutical compounds that use expensive and rare metals as the glue that binds them together. Iron could prove an inexpensive alternative, but is very unstable in that role. Yet, researchers have reduced its instability and increased its binding capacity, which could make prescription drugs much cheaper. Learn more at NSF’s “The Discovery Files."
Credit: National Science Foundation
Hi! I’m Mo Barrow with The Discovery Files, from NSF, the U.S. National Science Foundation.
I bet you recognize that sound, don’t you? A cash register!
For many of us today, that sound causes uneasiness, especially when it comes to prescription drugs, pharmaceuticals.
One of the reasons prescription drug costs can be so high is they are complex, pharmaceutical compounds that use expensive and rare metals like palladium in the process, the glue that binds them together.
Iron could prove an inexpensive, readily available, less toxic alternative metal. But it can be very unstable in that role.
Yet, researchers at the University of Rochester, the University of Maryland, and Texas A & M University, supported in part by NSF, not only reduced the instability of iron but also increased its capacity to bond with more compounds.
This research has the potential to make the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals much cheaper, thus lowering the price of drugs for patients.
Perhaps, when buying prescription drugs in the future, “Cha Ching” won’t be such an alarming sound!
Discover how the U.S. National Science Foundation is advancing research at nsf.gov.
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