Drugs old and new.

  • G. L. McCulloch
  • Published 1968 in
    The Journal of the Royal College of General…


L OOKING around any gathering of general practitioners it is interesting to speculate on their probable date of entry into the realm of drug therapy. Thus one may guess that some are preantibiotic, some post-antidepressant, while others are ante-oraldiuretic. As for me, I have to confess to being pre-insulin, having begun to practise at a time when efforts were being made to render raw liver palatable for the unfortunate sufferer from pernicious anaemia, and when the use of barbitone was regarded as rather venturesome and only to be resorted to in exceptional circumstances. Now, of course, pernicious anaemia has been treated almost out of existence as a dangerous illness by the use of synthetic preparations, whilst a considerable percentage of the population is consuming an enormous quantity of barbitone derivatives. It would be platitudinous to enumerate the tremendous advances in drug therapy which my contemporaries and I have witnessed and taken advantage of in the past 40 and more years. Suffice it to say that these changes have resulted in the day-to-day practice ofmedicine becoming far less frustrating than it then was, and far more rewarding in terms of the results attending our attempts to alleviate human ills. But let us go further back still to a publication dated 1890, which describes itself on a very verbose title page as "Organic Materia Medica, including the standard remedies of the leading pharmacopoeias as well as those articles of the newer materia medica more recently brought before the medical profession, with short notices of their therapeutics and dosage collated from the most reliable sources; and of the preparations made therefrom by ... .", and here follow the not unfamiliar names of the authors and publishers, Parke, Davis & Co of Detroit, Michigan. This, of course, was the hand-out of this particular firm three quarters of a century ago. In their preface they say,

Cite this paper

@article{McCulloch1968DrugsOA, title={Drugs old and new.}, author={G. L. McCulloch}, journal={The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners}, year={1968}, volume={15 1}, pages={23-6} }