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November 15, 1971

The Chemotherapy of Hypertension

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1971;218(7):1009-1015. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190200041009

It was by chance that I became involved in 1946 in the clinical evaluation of antihypertensive agents. After World War II, I had returned to Boston to complete my residency training in internal medicine and to work in hemodynamics research with Robert Wilkins at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital. Surgical sympathectomy was then the popular method for treating hypertension and Dr. Wilkins was involved with Reginald Smithwick in assessing the cardiovascular and circulatory changes associated with this operative procedure. However, Dr. Wilkins and Chester Keefer had been asked by James Shannon, who was then director of the Squibb Institute for Medical Research, to work with the Institute in exploring the possibility of developing a successful chemotherapy for hypertension. The clinical evaluation of any drugs that might emerge in this project was assigned to me working under the direction of Dr. Wilkins.

The first drug tested was an outgrowth of the World

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