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November 22, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(21):1614-1615. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610470050015

Few persons who have occasion to use arsphenamin (salvarsan) and its derivatives, or who contemplate the therapeutic usefulness which the introduction of these drugs into medical practice has embodied, realize the long and laborious scientific investigations that preceded the success inaugurated by Ehrlich. Modern chemotherapy of this sort has been the product of careful research in which ingenious and novel chemical syntheses were undertaken to evolve new compounds that were subsequently tested by animal experimentation before any attempt at clinical application was made. It is important to keep in mind the fundamental fact that the great discoveries of curative drugs were not made over night or by chance, as one may stumble on precious stones: they are rather the outcome of untiring effort directed by experimental genius. Each success is but the fortunate companion of almost innumerable preliminary or preparatory trials and many failures. Research is both the laborious and