The hustle and bustle of a pharmacy are no different than many stores—high traffic in even the smallest pharmacy can see close to 100 customers a day.

But the pharmacy isn’t a regular store. If you look right behind the pharmacist, you see shelves and shelves of different drugs, each helping people in different ways; many of them saving lives, increasing patient years, or helping alleviate symptoms associated with a variety of different ailments.

Aside from sanitation and vaccines no greater impact has been seen on our morbidity and mortality then drugs. This is an often overlooked cornerstone to healthcare system. Since the dawn of medicine, there was a reason the first practitioners were called medicine men. The practitioner and the medicine were in many ways connected. The hope that the imbalance in the body could be solved from something from outside in order to restore balance has stuck with humans since the dawn of time.

And yet with over 14,000 approved drugs, each has its own story. The science that led it to those very shelves behind me, how it was discovered, tested, used – and for each drug there are hundreds of candidates that didn’t make those very shelves. And, from those failures came even more discoveries.

That is what we hope to explore on this podcast. How are drugs created? Invented? How did they come to be? Who is involved in producing this innovation? How does innovation in this space even happen?

We hope to learn from stories and the scientists that have helped develop, improve, invent and create drugs that impact lives. We want to use many of these stories to illustrate the importance of science in helping us understand this. We’re going to learn from the stories of innovation, and I hope to explore what it takes to have a successful and useful drug that improves lives around the world.

I've always been fascinated by the stories of each medication and how they ended up on those shelves behind me. Well, I have a bias as a pharmacist and obviously drugs are my passion, but I hope to show you that all of these stories are in a way unique. There are so many interesting and unique ways in which these drugs got to where they are. I think no time has shown people how complex and global this process of drug development is than the last couple years during the COVID pandemic. As we sat by waiting for new drugs and vaccines, we learned about how drugs are discovered, repurposed, developed, tested, and then distributed.

I hope to share with you over the next eight episodes of this podcast the magic of medications using the power of science, and examples from our very own Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy to showcase how drugs go from being ideas to being stocked on pharmacy shelves around the world.


Produced by: Steve Southon, Kate Richard, and Mina Tadrous

Edited by: Steve Southon

Music by: Diego Martinez and Steve Southon