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To the Editor:
—I have read your editorial on barbital and related hypnotics, August 11, with much interest but some of the statements that it contains seem to me misleading. The editorial implies that the search for new synthetic hypnotic compounds is no longer desirable. While many of the homologous series of compounds have indeed been prepared, the side chain substituents have remained practically uninvestigated. Not only may new and valuable hypnotics be produced, but other substances of value. Prediction of therapeutic value from chemical structure, in our present state of knowledge, certainly is notoriously unreliable.The claims made by most manufacturers for their products have been exorbitant. However, there are practically no published investigations covering data collected from human cases and little adequate pharmacologic data. There has been an unfortunate habit of accepting the statements of manufacturers without critical examination of the source of their statements. It would be
Page IH. "BARBITAL AND RELATED HYPNOTICS". JAMA. 1928;91(17):1307-1308. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700170071031