Top 5 most important drugs developed

11:46   14 July, 2019

Some drugs had a major impact on the development of medicine and science and changed the whole world.

Here we list the top five most important drugs developed:


Prior to the invention of penicillin, outbreaks and epidemics of infectious diseases killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world. In 1928, bacteriologist Alexander Fleming (Scotland) discovered that a colony of mold fungi had grown in a Petri dish with staph bacteria.

The colonies of bacteria around them became transparent - they collapsed. Fleming was able to isolate a substance that destroys bacterial cells, penicillin.

Now the most important thing is not to lose antibiotics because of the development and spread of resistance to them: if nothing is done to combat resistance, antibiotics can lose 


The discovery of insulin is another important medical achievement. Before it has been developed, people with type 1 diabetes were doomed to death. On January 11, 1922, Frederick Banting (Canada), after animal experiments, made the first successful injection of insulin to humans.

Today, insulin shots provide an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes to live a full life.

Antiretroviral Therapy

In the past, HIV infection inevitably led to death: the virus weakened the human body and led to the development of AIDS: the person died due to infections or oncological diseases actively developing against the background of extremely weakened immunity.

Much has changed since the creation of drugs that suppress the HIV. The first antiretroviral drug approved for use in March 1987 was Zidovudine (Zidovudine, ZDV), also known as azidothymidine (AZT). Today, it is still one of the key components of highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Unfortunately, today antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not available to all patients with HIV, but many organizations are doing everything possible to make it more accessible.

Hormonal contraception

Creating hormonal contraception was a real breakthrough, because these drugs have opened up the possibility of avoiding unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

Clinical trials of hormonal contraceptives kicked off in the 1920s on the initiative of Ludwig Haberlandt (Austria), who published an article about the possibility of using an effective contraceptive in animals. After the suicide of the scientist, the tests were stopped, including the actions of activist Margaret Sanger. It was only in 1960 that the first contraceptive pill was invented and released, which they started using in the US.

Modern contraceptives are much safer than those used in the past century. Moreover, they have therapeutic effects and are used to treat certain diseases.


Since ancient times, medicines made from willow and other plants rich in salicylate have been used in the fight against fevers and to relieve pain. Chemist Raffaele Piria (Italy) was the first to remove from the willow bark a stable form of salicylic acid, suitable for cleaning in 1838, and later, in 1853, Charles Frederick Gerard synthesized acetylsalicylic acid for the first time.

Today, aspirin is widely used as an analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory agent.

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