Question: Can you guess what percent of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from ingredients found in tropical rainforests?
Answer Choices: A) 15% B) 25% C) 50% D) 75%
Correct Answer: B) 25%
Summary: Tropical rainforests are an incredible source of natural remedies that have been used for centuries by indigenous cultures. Western pharmaceutical developers have taken these natural resources and applied them to modern medicinal methods. About 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from ingredients found within tropical rainforests. It has also been stated that out of all prescription drugs sold across the world, 121 of them come from tropical plant-derived sources. Earthtimes.org reports that the US National Cancer Institute has found that 2100 of 3000 cancer-fighting plants are found in rainforests. One of these plants is tropical periwinkle which has been utilized in the drug Vincristine, which has been a leading treatment for childhood leukemia.
Source: Michael Evans, Rainforests, Earthtimes.org; 27 April 2011; http://www.earthtimes.org/encyclopaedia/environmental-issues/rainforests/