Need Cheap Drugs? One Man Says You Can Print Them
Lee Cronin wants to revolutionize the drug market with new device
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2012 5:42 PM CDT
Professor Lee Cronin.   (YouTube)
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(Newser) – If you're tired of paying out the nose for prescriptions, Lee Cronin of Glasgow University may have a solution: a 3-D printer that makes whatever medicine you need, the Daily Mail reports. His $1,800 prototype is humming along these days, injecting molecules into micro-tubes and causing "chemical inks" to react to one another. Cronin's project is at the "science fiction" stage, he admits, but his team is trying to print out simple drugs like Ibuprofen.

And it may be easy, because nearly all drugs are made of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon, along with easy-to-find agents like paraffin and vegetable oils. Cronin's goals: bring quality drugs to the developing world and make currently unavailable drugs easy to print. "There are loads of drugs out there that aren't available, because the population that needs them is not big enough, or not rich enough," he tells the Guardian. "Basically, what Apple did for music, I'd like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs."