More Than Meets the Vein

addiction aid bottle capsule

One technician injected a mouse with the target and collected the antibodies.  A few others tested the results and transferred the loops to a human antibody.  An army of scientists and several dozen mice tested the biotherapeutic.  Engineers transfected the gene and planned the manufacturing process at the clinical scale.

FDA agents, scientists, engineers, clinicians, and volunteers ran tests on the new drug.  Once declared safe and effective, teams of engineers, construction workers, and GMP trained workers made the first batch for sale.

A doctor injected the first patient with the life-saving drug.  “Thank you, Doctor,” said the patient.

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This was written for the June 13th Carrot Ranch Prompt, which asked us to write about the work of many hands. As a pharmaceutical engineer myself, I know how much work goes into the drugs and therapies people take. At the same time, it’s so easy to see the doctor – the point of service – and not recognize just how much work went into making the product.  There are definitely bad things about big pharma, but the team and people who make these products genuinely want to make a positive impact.  That is what I wrote about today.

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Photo by Pixabay on

13 thoughts on “More Than Meets the Vein

  1. crimsonprose says:

    Trying to decide which I like best. Your account of the process involved (alias Many Hands Make Drugs Work) or the accompanying explanation that, while the CEO & lesser Co’s might run along single lines, mostly those who graft to the ends of their soul, do mightily care for world health

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      The CEOs and stuff are probably the ones who ruin the system. I don’t know yet how high you have to go before you get to the bad guys, but I haven’t met them yet.

      I think part of the problem in industries tied to wellbeing is also the need to help the stockholders. That feels contradictory.

  2. joanne the geek says:

    That was a very polite patient. I’ve never thanked (or thought of thanking) any health professional that has stuck a needle in me (I have regular blood tests so any latent dislike of needles has long since vanished), but maybe I should start.

    I don’t think a lot of people appreciate the amount of work required by the medical industry to keep us all healthy, which is unfortunate. Good story.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I think everyone has a tendency to believe their field is underappreciated. My facebook, for example, is full of teachers complaining about lack of recognition. I often think people need recognition for their work and struggle, but wow – what a burden to place on people! Thinking about all the work that goes into everything, all thd time, would become so difficult.

  3. Charli Mills says:

    What a different perspective than I anticipated (seeing the photo).Living in a town where medical engineers are trained (Michigan Tech), I understand the integrity and passion of those who want to be part of this chain of many hands. To often we do see the doc as the point of delivery and the product from big bad pharma. See — this is how writers create awareness and open eyes.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Very true! I kind of understand why a lot of people feel undervalued. So much work goes unrecognized, and not just pharma workers – tons of manufacturing, engineering, or jobs are done invisibly.

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