The Aspirin Wars: Money, Medicine, and L00 Years of Rampant Competition

Charles C. Mann, Author, Jonathan B. Segal, Editor, Mark L. Plummer, With
Charles C. Mann, Author, Jonathan B. Segal, Editor, Mark L. Plummer, With Knopf Publishing Group $25 (420p) ISBN 978-0-394-57894-1
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-87584-401-5
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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)
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