- € 7,99
In this riveting medical detective story, Trent Stephens and Rock Brynner recount the history of thalidomide, from the epidemic of birth defects in the 1960's to the present day, as scientists work to create and test an alternative drug that captures thalidomide's curative properties without its cruel side effects. A parable about compassion-and the absence of it-Dark Remedy is a gripping account of thalidomide's extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and nations over half a century.
Thalidomide, the drug notorious for causing deformities in infants during the late 1950s and early '60s, has been back in the newsDamazingly, it has been found useful in treating a range of diseases from cancer and leprosy to AIDS. Combining Stephens's expertise as a scientist researching thalidomide and novelist and historian Brynner's (The Doomsday Report) firsthand experience as a thalidomide recipient (he was given the drug to treat t a rare inflammatory disease), this compelling tale documents the history of a drug originally offered as a "safe" alternative to barbiturates (which were used by suicides). Very soon, it came to be linked to nerve damage in adults and to "flipper-like" limbs in babies born to women who took the drug. An arduous legal battle ensued, and the authors nicely highlight such figures as the FDA's Frances Kelsey, who fought successfully against the drug being approved for use in the U.S., and pediatrician Widukind Lenz, who linked thalidomide to the birth defects. In particular, however, the authors successfully convey the necessity of placing an "absolute commitment to truth" ahead of all other considerations when testing, prescribing or selling a drug. "The monster was never thalidomide itself," they claim of the drug that sparked FDA reform. While this moving account offers a chilling glimpse of how the profit motive can negatively affect many lives, it also includes a straightforward presentation of Stephens's pioneering research with thalidomideDresearch that he hopes will contribute to developing a truly safe alternative.