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JAMA Revisited
January 22/29, 2014

New Drugs—Miracles or Mirages?

Author Affiliations

Copyright American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;311(4):423. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279299

Originally Published April 16, 1955 | JAMA. 1955;157(16):1410-- 1411.

The development of new drugs for human use has been one of the most remarkable signs of progress. Until a few decades ago drugs at best were considered useful but seldom much more by the true medical scientists. During the last 20 years, however, the term “miracle drug” has become so widely known that profession and public alike use this term without more than momentary hesitation. The public is watchfully waiting and hoping for new remedies to lessen their suffering and economic burdens, and physicians are just as hopeful that they will have available an unending stream of newer and better agents to ease the suffering of their patients. Thus it is not unexpected to observe now and then signs of undeserved enthusiasm.