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November 13, 1967

Physicochemical and Biochemical Aspects of Pharmacology

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, National Heart Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1967;202(7):600-609. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130200086016

There are two facets to the problem of the biochemical and physical aspects of drug actions, the influence of drugs on the body and the influence of the body on drugs. In the past, pharmacology has emphasized the action of drugs on the living organism. But to be effective, a substance must have characteristics that allow it to reach its site of action in adequate concentration and to remain there for a suitable period of time. For this reason, we become concerned with the physical and biochemical factors that determine the duration of drug action.

About 25 years ago, when I first became interested in the fate of drugs, I felt like the bat in Aesop's fable. Journals of pharmacology showed considerable reluctance in associating themselves with this "biochemical" topic, while biochemical journals refused these "drug" papers outright. But over the years pharmacology has broadened and these sort of studies

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