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August 1957

Williams-Waterman Fund.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(2):340. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260080166044

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This book gives a birds'-eye view, and an intimate one, of the developmental phase of one of the B-complex vitamins told in a very informal way by Dr. Williams, who was a central figure in the discovery, isolation, and synthesis of thiamine. It presents clearly and honestly one side of the recurring problems of medical patents; research foundations; the vested interests of large-scale business corporations manufacturing drugs, vitamins, and therapeutic agents, and the basic problem of "enrichment" of depleted foods. It illustrates one way of plowing back profits into research. The intimate personal details and the photographs give autobiographical insights which make it seem rather like a cozy look at the family album displayed by the charming autobiographer. This not only gives pleasure but has much historic value too.

Some of the paradoxical situations which occur when the owner of a patent is a major evangelist for a public health

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