Can you 3D print drugs?

The technology exists, and while the hope is to make prescription drug distribution more efficient, there's also a dark side to the novel idea

3D printer
(Image credit: Corbis)

From the looks of it, 3D printing is about to revolutionize all sorts of industries, from kitchenware (download a design for an ice cube tray off the internet instead of heading to Pier 1 Imports) to dreamier pursuits like the food replicator in Star Trek that we've fantasized about (3D-printed pizza, anyone?). There's the dangerous stuff, too, as Defense Distributed — the libertarian-leaning organization dedicated to disseminating open-source CAD files for 3D-printed handguns and rifles — has demonstrated by thumbing its nose at gun-control laws, irking lawmakers in the process.

Other industries will likely be revolutionized as well, so we might as well ask the hard questions now. How soon until it's possible to 3D print drugs?

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