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February 8, 1995

From the Lab Into the World: A Pill for People, Pets, and Bugs

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Pennsylvania Hahnemann University Philadelphia

JAMA. 1995;273(6):510. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520300084051

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In From the Lab Into the World, Professor Carl Djerassi provides a potpourri of essays on topics ranging from scientific values to artistic philanthropies, all part of his varied interests.

Two thirds of the book centers on birth control with in-depth perceptions mostly written at a time when this topic was escalating in importance. The industry was focused on improving effectiveness while reducing the drawbacks of the birth control pill in the United States. Particularly compelling are Djerassi's discussions of who should be credited for the discovery of oral contraceptives. Is it the chemist, Djerassi himself, who discovered the compounds, or the biomedical theorists who delineated physiological functions in women, or the clinicians who provided the medical trials and results? This and other pithy conundrums are brought to light and described by a judiciously opinionated author. All the hair-shirt arguments, such as academia vs business vs government, scientists and the

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