The fierce, global competition for a share of the $25 billion analgesic trade based on aspirin, the 100-year-old, multipurpose drug, and its derivatives (Bufferin, Alka Seltzer etc.), and rival analgesics (Tylenol, Advil etc.) is vividly recounted here by Mann (coauthor of The Second Creation ) and economist Plummer. They portray such scientists as German chemist Carl Duisberg, who developed aspirin from a form of coal tar, and recall WW I- and WW II-connected international episodes concerning aspirin's exploitation, along with court battles between manufacturers and suits brought against them for false claims by federal regulatory agencies. The authors of this significant report note that while researchers are still probing the secrets of how aspirin works, recent studies have confirmed its value for prevention and treatment of heart attacks and strokes, further intensifying competition among analgesic manufacturers. Photos. (Nov)
The authors detail the history of the marketing of aspirin as a drug from its introduction in 1899 to the present. They carefully researched the business, medical, and legal literature to supplement information obtained through interviews with numerous scientists, businesspeople, and government officials. Some of the events they describe include the activities of Farbenfabriken Bayer in the United States in the early 1900s, Sterling's purchase of the Bayer name of aspirin, the Food and Drug Administration's regulations in labeling and advertising of aspirin, the introduction of competing products such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, and recent claims that aspirin will reduce the risk of heart attacks for healthy people. The authors also provide numerous literature references. Highly recommended for business and medical collections of public, university, and special libraries.-- Bruce Slutsky, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, N.Y.