2 Developing anti-inflammatory drugs
The general areas of pain and inflammation illustrate a number of concepts behind the development and use of small-molecule drugs. Historically, experience showed that certain natural substances could have a beneficial effect on disease states having associated pain. This would not have been possible had those substances not, in the first place, had reasonable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties, which are perhaps evolutionary consequences of their biosynthesis. Nature is sparing of energy, few natural products are synthesised without some purpose in the life of the producer.