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In 1929 with funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation the National Research Council, through its Committee on Drug Addiction, established a coordinated program to study drug addiction and to search for a nonaddicting pain-relieving drug comparable to morphine. The principal participating organizations were the Universities of Virginia and Michigan, the United States Public Health Service, the Treasury Department's Bureau of Narcotics and the health department of the state of Massachusetts. These agencies brought together chemical, pharmacologic and clinical facilities for the purposes of the study. Now a new morphine derivative—metopon hydrochloride (methyldihydromorphinone hydrochloride), one of many compounds made and studied in this coordinated effort —will soon be available.
Chemically metopon is a morphine derivative; pharmacologically it is qualitatively like morphine even to the properties of tolerance and addiction liability. Chemically metopon differs from morphine in three particulars: one double bond of the phenanthrene nucleus has been reduced by hydrogenation, the
METOPON HYDROCHLORIDE. JAMA. 1947;134(3):291–292. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880200073012