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Editorial
Health Care Reform
Octomber 12, 2009

Can the Food and Drug Administration Ensure That Our Pharmaceuticals Are Safely Manufactured?

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(18):1655-1656. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.304

Contemporary Americans have little appreciation for the extent to which pharmaceuticals have changed the face of medicine in the past 75 years. Just think: before the advent of the “therapeutic revolution” that began with the development of penicillin in the 1930s, the physician's armamentarium of drug therapies was limited to aspirin, digoxin, and a handful of other effective treatments. Indeed, most commercial “medicines” of that era were so-called patent drugs, the active ingredient of which was alcohol—you didn't get well, but you felt better about it.

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