The large majority of drug products available on the market deliver the drug in a non-targeted manner into the human body:
The drug is circulated via the blood throughout the entire organism.
Parts of it reach the target site (e.g., a specific organ).
However, the large majority of the administered drug dose is distributed within the rest of the body.
Importantly, this drug is not only “lost” for the treatment, it is often harmful for the patient, causing potentially severe side effects.
The latter have 3 major consequences, they:
(1) constitute a major health burden for the patient (e.g. causing nausea, headache, cardiovascular complications)
(2) can limit the drug dose that can be given to the patient, leading to nonoptimal therapeutic effects (the drug amount reaching the target site cannot be further increased)
(3) cause considerable costs for the health care systems (e.g., due to the treatment of side effects, prolonged hospitalisation times and sub-optimal treatments).