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On march 6, 1899, the mainstay of medicine cabinets approximately the globe, acetylsalicylic acid, to be patented by The Friedrich Bayer & Co. Under the trade name Aspirin at the royal patent office in Berlin. After well over a century, it’s still among the most effective, versatile, and commonly used medicines world-wide.

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Although Aspirin’s existence only dates earlier over a century or so, its energetic ingredient, salicin, had been used for many centuries to mitigate pain and fever. Hippocrates is well-known to have actually used it, and it had been offered in contemporary medicine due to the fact that the 19th century. As reliable as it was, willow bark and salicin were supplied sparingly due to the fact that the taste to be vile and, much more importantly, that use had a propensity to cause a severe upset stomach, and in extreme cases could even damage it.

This all changed when Bayer chemist Felix Hoffman created a kind of the drug that was simply as effective yet much far better tasting and drastically less complicated on the stomach. However three years after Hoffman’s death in 1949, another scientist with much more seniority in ~ Bayer, Arthur Eichengrün, come forward claiming duty for the job-related Hoffman was attributed with.


Eichengrün, who was imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during civilization War II, kept he to be denied his due all those years because he was Jewish. (Indeed, Bayer had their legacy considerably tarnished throughout WWII as soon as they became component of the Farben German chemical firm conglomerate the is known to have actually used slave labor during WWII, including regulating slave job camps. Further, Farben was the group that manufactured Zyklon B. Why is this important? since Zyklon B was the cyanide based pesticide used in the Nazi gas chambers. Bayer was forced to separate from Farben after WWII.)

In any type of event, either Hoffman or Eichengrün additionally perfected another medication roughly the very same time together Aspirin, one the was thought to have even greater potential, dubbed Heroin. This wonder medicine was created to be a non-addictive alternate to morphine, slated come be used for together ailments together curing heavy coughs and also labor pain. In fact, when Aspirin was first recommended to Heinrich Dreser, head of the pharmacological laboratory at Bayer, that rejected it, supposedly stating “The product has actually no value.” once Heroin’s star quickly started to fall as world realized just how addictive the was, Dreser revisited his decision on Aspirin, i m sorry quickly came to be Bayer’s ideal selling product. However, after civilization War I, Bayer had to give up their trademark ~ above Aspirin as part of the treaty of Versailles in 1919.

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Aspirin sales slumped with the arrival of other over-the-counter pains relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but sales rebounded in a huge way once clinical trials verified that a small daily dose of Aspirin might lower the risk of heart attack and also stroke. Today, approximately 40 billion Aspirin tablets space consumed annually.

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Bonus Fact:

One that Bayer’s executive officers throughout WWII, Fritz ter Meer, that was the chairman the Bayer’s supervisory board, was tried and also convicted during the Nuremberg battle Crimes Tribunal and also sentenced to 7 years in prison. He supposedly was connected in miscellaneous experiments done at Auschwitz on human being subjects. Special, the dues he to be convicted the were: “guilty of count two, plunder and spoliation, and also count three, slavery and also mass murder.”Expand because that References