This month in aspirin, one of the world’s best-known drugs, in his article ‘ The discovery of aspirin: a reappraisal’ for the British Medical. Download Citation on ResearchGate | The discovery of aspirin: A reappraisal | The discovery of aspirin is customarily said to have resulted from Felix Hoffmann’s. W. Sneader, “Discovery of Aspirin A Reappraisal,” British Medical Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, , pp.
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Ask most people if they recognise the names of some of the most commonly used drugs launched in the past few decades, and chances are — unless they themselves take the medicines – they’ll be caught in a confusion of Zs and Xs jumbled in a way that’s impossible to pronounce.
By contrast, one drug that everyone in the world is aware of — and not just for its simple asiprin pronounce name — is aspirin, which can add diversity, efficacy and longevity to the list of reasons why almost every household has a box or two and everyone knows what the pharmacist is on about when he recommends it.
And the painkiller has longevity indeed, celebrating its th birthday this year and still being among the most commonly used medicines in the world.
To be specific, aspirin’s anniversary occurs on August 10, for it was on that date in that Felix Hoffmann, a chemist at German life science firm Bayer, first synthesised the active ingredient of aspirin — acetylsalicylic acid — in a form that was pure and stable. Mostly by chance According to Bayer’s biography of Hoffman, it was ‘mostly by chance’ that the chemist succeeded in mixing salicylic acid with acetic acid to create what is now widely recognised as a breakthrough treatment in the history of medicine.
A common story to explain Hoffman’s research is that he was encouraged by his father, who had arthritis, to develop an alternative treatment to sodium salicylate — juice from the willow tree bark that had been used for centuries as a painkiller and treatment for fever, but carried several unpleasant side effects, including nausea, gastro-intestinal irritation, tinnitus and liver damage.
The discovery of aspirin: a reappraisal.
The solution was promising enough to catch the attention of the head of Bayer’s pharmaceutical laboratory, Heinrich Dreser, who alongside Hoffman tested acetylsalicylic acid on animals and then humans, where its effect was notable enough to encourage them to apply for a patent.
However, Walter Sneader offers an alternative account in his article ‘The discovery of aspirin: Reports from these effects were encouraging, according to Sneader, with the drug able to provide antirheumatic effects without side effects, such as tinnitus.
As part of Sneader’s paper, he goes on to explain that Dreser still doubted the benefits of acetylsalicylic acid, and it was only on the intervention of Bayer’s head of research, Carl Duisberg, that further research of the compound was undertaken, including Dreser’s own reinvestigation in September This circumstance made it impossible to write a high profile rebuttal, although he did write a letter in during a period in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, in which he described how his name was not positioned alongside his invention of acetylcellulose in the German Museum in Munich, whereas both Dreser and Hoffmann were credited beside the exhibition for aspirin.
Sneader offers his own guess in his paper: In any case, Hoffman did synthesise a pure and stable form of acetylsalicylic acid on August 10,and just two years later, Bayer was producing the drug under the name Aspirin as a powder supplied in glass bottles.
Since then, the drug has gone on to achieve unimaginable success, making Bayer’s name in the medicines world. Of those who contributed to its creation depending on what story you trust Hoffmann, who also synthesised a stable version of heroine, went on to become head of the pharmaceutical marketing department at Bayer, before retiring in then dying in Article by Tom Meek.
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