1st Edition

A Social History of Medicines in the Twentieth Century To Be Taken Three Times a Day

By John Crellin, Dennis B Worthen Copyright 2004
    352 Pages
    by CRC Press

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    Get a fresh perspective on the day-to-day use of medicine!

    A Social History of Medicines in the Twentieth Century explores the most perplexing issues concerning the uses of prescriptions and other medicines on both sides of the Atlantic. The book equips you with a thorough understanding of the everyday use of medicine in the United States, Canada, and Britain, concentrating on its recent past. Dr. John K. Crellin, author of several influential books on the history of medicine and pharmacy, addresses vital topics such as: the emergence of prescription-only medicines; gate-keeping roles for pharmacists; the role of the drugstore; and the rise of alternative medicines.

    A Social History of Medicines in the Twentieth Century adds the historical perspective missing from most medical and pharmaceutical literature about trends in the day-to-day use of medicines in society. The book is essential reading for anyone taking regular medication, either as self-care or by a physician’s prescription. Topics discussed include the non-scientific factors that validate medicines, the relevance of the control of narcotics, marketing strategies used by the pharmaceutical industry, the changing authority of physicians and pharmacists, over-the-counter medicines, tonics and sedatives, and patient compliance—and non-compliance.

    A Social History of Medicines in the Twentieth Century also addresses:

    • medicines for weakness (“health” foods, fortifiers, digestives/laxatives)
    • poison and pharmacy legislation
    • placebos
    • tranquilizers and antidepressants
    • hormones
    • side-effects
    • psychoactive medications
    • herbal medicines
    • a brief history of the use of medicines from the 17th to 19th centuries
    • suggestions for future policies
    • and much more!
    A Social History of Medicines in the Twentieth Century is equally vital as a professional resource for physicians, pharmacists, and health care administrators, as a classroom guide for academics working in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, and as a resource for patients.

    Preface and Acknowledgments -- Chapter 1. The Big Canvas: Issues and Context -- Some Key Questions -- Social Validation of Medicines -- Regionalism in the Story of Medicines -- Organization of the Book -- Rural Scenes -- Public /Community Health -- Colonialism -- Writing the Story -- Chapter 2. Prelude: Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries -- Introduction -- An Early Search for New Remedies -- Interfaces: Conventional Medicines, Self-Care, and Commercialism -- Chapter 3. Medicines for Weakness: 1900 to c.1950 -- Weakness and Social Conditions -- Prevention and Treatment -- The Medicines -- Pharmacological Effects, "Cascades," and Social Validation -- Chapter 4. Authority and Gatekeeping: 1900 to c. 1950 -- Authority and Patients' Faith -- Authority and Prescription Medicines -- Authority, Gatekeeping, and Responsibilities -- Authority: The Druggists' Role -- Chapter 5. Certainty? Maybe, Maybe Not: 1950 to 2000 -- The Challenges of Change -- Validation, Rejection, Ambivalence, and Four Themes -- Theme 1: Accommodating New Medicines -- Theme 2: Patients' Dependence and Professional Gatekeeping -- Chapter 6. Hope Amid Uncertainty: 1950 to 2000 -- Theme 3: Public Confidence: Challenges and Responses -- Theme 4: Changing Relationships-From Compliance to Concordance -- Epilogue. Do We Need a "New" Therapeutics? -- Notes -- Index --


    Dr. John K. Crellin holds British qualifications in both medicine and pharmacy. He also holds a PhD in the history and philosophy of science. His principal interest is self-care, particularly the role of complementary medicine. Dr. Crellin has taught undergraduate, graduate, medical, and complementary/alternative medical students in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. His present position is John Clinch Professor of the History of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland; he gives frequent public and professional talks on complementary/alternative medicine. Dr. Crellin's publications range widely on the history of medicine and pharmacy, as well as on herbal medicine and home medicine in general. His books include Professionalism and Ethics in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (Haworth, with F. Ania), "By the Patient and not by the Book": Constancy and Change in Small Town Doctoring (with P.I. Crellin); Herbal Medicine Past and Present (with J. Philpott); Home Medicine: The Newfoundland Experience; Alternative Health Care in Canada: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Perspectives (co-edited with R. Andersen and J. Connor); and Healthways: Newfoundland Elders, Their L(festyles and Values (with R.R. Andersen and B. O'Dwyer) .