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.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.