It has been a turbulent and transformative year for the global pharmaceutical industry. In the US, a recent explosion of fentanyl abuse has left pharmaceutical researchers scrambling to find a solution, while in the UK a key nanotechnology breakthrough, which targets tumour cells but not healthy tissue, has been billed as a potential 'game changer' for cancer treatment.

We also take a look back at the biggest stories from 2018, including the struggle to crack the mystery of Alzheimer’s disease, the world’s manufacturing hotspots, India’s use of unapproved antibiotics, and the seismic shift in gene editing caused by CRISPR.

Plus, we explore whether the UK’s drug evaluation system is in need of an overhaul, profile the Chinese drug market, find out more about the next generation of antimalarials, and investigate how Big Pharma can restore its credibility.

And finally, we analyse tech giant Amazon’s move into the healthcare space could impact Big Pharma’s status quo, delve into the viscous topic of the microbiome in precision medicine, and review a decade of progress in HPV vaccines.

Eloise McLennan, editor