Cambridge, MA — If you’re at home and run out of Tide detergent, you can order it with the click of Amazon’s Dash button. But what if you need medicine immediately during an emergency, like during a natural disaster? Medicine is far more complicated to manufacture than Tide so we’re obviously not there yet, but MIT is bringing us one step closer with its latest invention. Scientists have developed a refrigerator-sized machine that can rapidly produce thousands of prescription medications in a day. The hope is that this technology will eventually lead to “on-the-spot drug production in special circumstances,” according to Medical Xpress. Right now the machine’s capabilities are limited to producing liquid versions of four common prescriptions, including Valium and the antihistamine used in Benadryl.
Why this matters:
This technology could radically change access to high-demand medication in special situations like epidemics and military operations. There are many questions left unanswered, but it’s a solid step in advancing the drug manufacturing process and getting much-needed medications in our hands right when we need them.