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Drugs are one of the (1) profession’s most valuable tools. Doctors prescribe drugs to (2) ... or prevent many diseases. Every year, penicillin and other (3) drugs save the lives of countless victims of pneumonia and other dangerous infectious diseases. Vaccines prevent attacks by such diseases as (4) polio, and smallpox. The use of these and many other drugs (5) helped millions of people live longer, healthier lives than would (6) have been possible.
Almost all our most important drugs, however, were unknown before the 1900’s. For example, the sulfa drugs and antibiotics did not come into use (7) the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Before that time, about 25 percent of all pneumonia victims in the United States died of the disease. The new drugs quickly reduced the (8 ) rate from pneumonia to less than 5 percent. Polio vaccine was introduced in 1955. At that time, polio struck about 30,000 to 50,000 Americans each year. (9) 1960, the use of the vaccine has reduced the number of new polio cases to about 3,000 a year. In 1900, most Americans did not live (10) the age of 47. Today, Americans live an average of more than 70 years, in great part because of the use of modern drugs.