For centuries, plants have served as a natural source of treatments and therapies. New advances in biotechnology make it possible to turn plants into "factories" that produce therapeutic proteins for use in the manufacture of biotech drugs, medicines and therapies. Plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs) are the result of an innovative application of biotechnology to plants to enable them to produce therapeutic proteins that could ultimately be used by the medical community to combat life-threatening illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, HIV, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cystic fibrosis. PMP technology to develop therapeutic proteins is a safe, efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional methods using microbial fermentation or animal cell cultures. Plant-made pharmaceuticals have the potential to provide patients with the benefits of greater and faster access to medicines.