Medicines are the medical arts, science, and techniques of treating a particular patient by affecting the cause, prediction, prevention, therapy or palliation of his disease or injury. It includes various medical practices developed over time to keep and restore health by the preventative and therapeutic treatment of disease. It includes all branches of medicine such as clinical, preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, hospital care, nursing care, preventive, therapeutic, cosmetic, surgical, pharmaceutical and social services. These categories of medicines include many types of chemical compounds produced by nature and man. These medicines also include animal products which are used as ingredients in some medicines.
There are two categories of medicines; primary and secondary medicines. Primary medicines are available over-the-counter drugs in the market. They are regulated by common standards of the world health organization (WHO) and must be recommended for use. Secondary medicines are not regulated and they are available for use with caution by the person having the disease or by a specially authorized person like the family doctor or nurse. Dietary supplements are medicine which are taken orally with the help of food. This class of medicines includes herbal products like teas, capsules, pills, tablets etc which are considered as over-the-counter drugs.
A new medicine is a drug made from a living organism and has not been scientifically tested as an antibiotic or an anti-inflammatory. A new medicine is a drug not tested for its effectiveness or for its side effects before it is introduced in the market. Common examples of such new medicines are genetically modified crops, antiviral drugs, cosmetic products etc. These medicines are being introduced gradually as they are found to have fewer side effects than the older medicines.