European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Social, cultural and ethical aspects of drug use—changes over 40 years: a personal look back

  • Andrew Herxheimer
  • Emilio SanzEmail author
Special Article

Modern pharmacology has developed largely since this journal began 40 years ago. In that time, the types of drugs available and what we know about them have changed dramatically, as has the power of medicines to cure and to help people. Research methods and medicine regulation and control have also continued to evolve, and last but not least so have people’s views and attitudes toward the use of medicines.

Unaided memory inevitably distorts the past, so we wanted a solid starting point. We took two books from the 1960s: Drugs in Our Society [1], based on an international symposium at Johns Hopkins University in 1966, and The Medicated Society, a series of 12 lectures given in Boston in 1967 [2]. Each had distinguished contributors. We also reviewed the articles from the late 1960s and early 1970s published in Drug & Therapeutics Bulletin, which was then edited by Andrew Herxheimer, to see what issues had occupied us.

Drugs in Our Societyincluded a historical perspective on miracle...


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UK Cochrane CentreOxfordUK
  2. 2.Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of La LagunaLa LagunaSpain

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