MEDICAL SCIENCE AND MEDICAL INDUSTRY, 1890-1929: A STUDY OF PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURING IN PHILADELPHIA
Pharmaceutical manufacturers responded to the growth of medical science by building company laboratories. This work explores how science was used by such firms and their relationship to the Philadelphia medical community. Initially scientists were employed in a variety of tasks that related more to a company's image than to innovation. Laboratory staff measured raw materials, standardized extracts and promoted medicines at Smith Kline, Wyeth, and Parke Davis. Diphtheria antitoxin was the first innovation to have a marked impact on pharmaceutical manufacturing. It was first produced in large quantities by public health departments, which soon found themselves in competition with commercial manufacturers. Firms soon recaptured the dominant position. The H.K. Mulford Company led the way, hiring a medical scientist, Joseph McFarland, away from the public health department. Mulford was particularly effective in fostering close contacts with the medical community through advertising material which included up-to-date summaries of technical information. By 1900 some firms were thoroughly embued with scientific ideals. The new importance of science was demonstrated when the government, influenced by the larger companies, used legislation in 1902 and 1906 to regulate the industry, applying such technical criteria as the sophistication of laboratories and their staffs. While American companies had become successful in manufacturing and marketing biological medicines by the Great War, they were behind their German competitors who innovated and patented extensively. The War gave Americans an opportunity to break this pattern. For example, in 1915 the Dermatological Research Laboratories synthesised the antisyphilitic, Salvarsan, and by infringing on the Hoechst patent, helped to accelerate the confiscation of enemy-held property. Wartime profits stimulated a merger wave through the industry. The association of older, large companies with those which were scientifically advanced laid the foundations for later expansion. Merck bought Powers, Weightman and Rosengarten, and Abbott acquired the Dermatological Research Laboratories. In 1929 Sharp and Dohme, with its strong marketing network, merged with Mulford, whose laboratories were unsurpassed. By this time industrial research in all its facets was a necessary part of pharmaceutical manufacturing.
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|Authors:||LIEBENAU, JONATHAN MICHAEL|
|Type of publication:||Other|
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