The Third EAS Public Lecture of the Year in a monthly series was held on January 05, 2017 at the Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT) Auditorium. The Public Lecture was titled, “Drug Development: Past, Present and Future”. Professor Tsige Gebre-Mariam, Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology at Addis Ababa University (AAU) and President of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences gave the Public Lecture.
Professor Sileshi Lulseged, Vice President of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and Chairman of the EAS Health Working Group, chaired the Public Lecture.
Professor Tsige briefly introduced the history of drugs and drugs development through the ages. He described how pre-historic humans played a significant role in the discovery of drugs. He outlined various reasons and causes as to how pre-historic humans may have discovered useful drugs, such as, through continues search for food, fortunate coincidences, instinct, observation and changes in people’s ways of lives.
The development of drugs and pharmacy has gone through different eras. The ancient and the middle age eras of drug history are considered to be significant for the development of drugs and drug related practice. Various revolutionary drugs were discovered in this era. Some significant discoveries including crude forms of vaccines happened in the later part of the middle ages. The pharmaceutical industry is currently developing in an alarming rate. However, Africa’s contribution in the research and production of drugs has not been significant. Nevertheless, the current stride in pharmaceutical industries in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular is very encouraging.
In conclusion, Professor Tsige introduced advances being made in gene based treatment and personalized medicine and their promise to treat every patient individually and effectively, advancing the effectiveness of drugs in the years to come.
Representatives of governmental and non-governmental health organizations, pharmaceutical research and supply institutions, drug and food control and administration authorities, university, health science colleges and technology students, researchers, EAS and EtYAS Fellows and members of the general public attended the Public Lecture.