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May 17, 1924


JAMA. 1924;82(20):1610. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650460034016

A recently published volume on tuberculosis1 reminds the reader of the well known axiom that the curability of a disease is in inverse ratio to the number of drugs and therapeutic measures used against it. Thus, malaria, in which the treatment consists essentially of quinin and arsenic, and syphilis, with iodin, mercury and arsenic as its curative agents, are the two diseases in which drug therapy is the most satisfactory. Hence, the writer continues, the more drugs and therapeutic measures that have been and still are used against a disease, the more is the conclusion justified that we as yet know no real cure of that disease. This is the case with tuberculosis.

This malady has been attacked alike by nonspecific chemical therapy and by the highly lauded specific chemotherapy that Ehrlich's researches have brought into prominence in various fields. In the list of chemical agents reputed to benefit