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Appropriate ingredients for drugs

Bleeding obvious or not, here it is.
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This is the idea i mentioned on the Bleeding Obvious one. I've decided to post it anyway.

When a drug is provided, it needs to have other ingredients added to make it useable, for instance lactose in pills and so forth. It's also often advantageous for it to be a particular colour. However, for some reason these added ingredients often seem to be chosen from a list of compounds well-known to cause problems for large numbers of people, for example lactose, aspartame (i'm thinking PKU here, nothing controversial) or lanolin allergy.

My suggestion is that where a particular ingredient of this kind is used, it should be replaced by an alternative less likely to cause problems, but that the original preparation be maintained so that people likely to react to those other ingredients can still take the older version.

I have no idea why this isn't done. Economies of scale?

nineteenthly, Jul 22 2011

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       // Economies of scale? //   

       Bingo.
Alterother, Jul 22 2011
  

       I remember hearing somewhere that the stuff In paracetamol that damages peoples liver in overdose is not the pain killer. And that they can make safe paracetamol pill.
j paul, Jul 22 2011
  

       Medecines today are not made to make people better, they are made to make money.
zeno, Jul 22 2011
  

       //less likely to cause problems// Like as not the problematic compounds were believed innocuous when first used, and the problems only became apparent in the postmarketing period, when larger numbers of less highly selected people were exposed for longer periods of time than in trials.   

       If new "unlikely to cause problems" ingredients were introduced, some of them would turn out even worse than the ones we've got. Or, at least, this is the kind of hyperconservative logic that's applied in these cases.   

       When the "devil we know" is very well known, it's preferred, not so much by the pharmaceutical firms, as by the regulatory agencies, to the devil we don't know.
mouseposture, Jul 22 2011
  

       [Simpleton], not only do i want that book but i'm even considering selling a kidney to buy it.
nineteenthly, Jul 23 2011
  

       [19] you only have two kidneys, and ere long they'll for sure publish a new edition.
mouseposture, Jul 23 2011
  

       The ownership and provenance of the kidney was not specified.
pocmloc, Jul 23 2011
  

       Yeah, i was thinking of growing one from stem cells or nicking one from a snail.
nineteenthly, Jul 24 2011
  
      
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