In the days before the FDA, things could get interesting to say the least! Many products were on the market that would cause a major flood of lawsuits now days! In fact, some are still being made (with a few refinements)!
In the case of Bayer, it wasn’t a matter of a company or individual using what’s now a controlled substance as a cure-all. With Bayer, they invented it. The first manufactured heroin was a product of the Bayer pharmaceutical company in Germany. Production started in 1897, and within two years, the company was making a ton of heroin each year. It was exported around the world, where it was used as a cure for tuberculosis and pneumonia and as a pain-killer.
Oddly enough, heroin was also marketed as a solution to a problem that had grown to be worldwide by the late 1800s—opium addiction. The first solution to getting people off their opium addiction was to switch them to the supposedly less dangerous morphine. When that didn’t work, they tried weaning opium and morphine addicts onto this new, also supposedly less dangerous drug called heroin. Medical reports around the world gave heroin a cautious thumbs-up into the 1900s, and it was even approved by the American Medical Association in 1906. Obviously, it didn’t work, and by 1924, it’s estimated that 98 percent of New York’s drug addicts were addicted to heroin.
Hard to believe that something so well known got it's start in this manner. Bayer wasn't the only one, though. In later post, I'll go over some others that followed the same path!
Coffee in the kitchen this morning. More rain moving in!