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Drug History

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curiousC | 21:46 Mon 11th Jul 2016 | History
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I find it weird not to be able to know the history of a drug.
I am seeking the origin of CROTAMITON (EURAX). and i cannot find it.
It is in none of my medical textbooks
Surely every new drug that hits the retail shelves must have a knowable discovery line?

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Thank you to Wolf63 & jno.
Yes, I had looked at both web pages, before I posted my query.
Jno's URL gets close but "no cigar".
The word "probably" does not cut the cake.
Some chemist unleashed this particular "aniline" on the unsuspecting public.
When it was first sold across a counter ... I would use as history date.
But is you compare the history of insulin to this drug you get my point.
Okay ... insulin is very important.
But why does the history of any drug "get lost in time"?
Oh dear, please don't be too hard on chemists curiousC.

I was the major contributor to the discussion cited by jno as you know, so I'll give you an update.

Crotamiton was discovered using methods that were severely criticised by scientists. There were very real scientific and ethical issues at stake that should have been taken into account. I'm afraid it's not a discussion fit for discussing on AB and to be honest, I was unaware of a lot of it until recently. Let's just say it was an eye-opener for me.

No chemist unleashed this on the public. The medication had been proved to work and indeed, it's unlikely that any human has come to any harm over the use of the compound as it's one of the most innocuous cream/lotion applications that it's possible to buy. This harmless is indeed one of the reasons why some doctors currently consider it next to useless.

New drugs don't require a knowable discovery line. Patents alone would prevent this from happening as the original R&D costing billions could be bypassed instantly by others. There are also more complex issues for non-disclosure. The precise formulation can also quite legally be hidden for these reasons for a substantial number of years.

Incidentally, I'd repost in the Science category if you want to pursue this. You'll get a better response,

I don't understand the context of the word "unsuspecting" in your statement.

The history of crotamiton was not lost in time. The R&D behind the drug is an eye-opener. The formulation and manufacture of crotamiton has remained secret for both commercial and patent reasons but there are also ethical issues that need to be taken into account.
Should have edited out the last paragraph of my post. Sorry!
You can regard Crotamiton as first being available in 1949. It was effectively a Prescription-Only Medicine which means you needed a doctor to prescribe it.It was not available to buy over the counter.

However there's a complication. In the USA, the Commonwealth Countries and Europe, the date and year of it becoming available to prescribe varied. Doctors could not prescribe it until it was listed in their country's national formulary. The exact year varied from country to country. Similarly, over the counter sales happened in different years.

You can regard the UK prescribable year as 1949. Retail chemist sales started in the early sixties.
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Thank you to the Professor.
I apologise if any insult is taken from my wording.
I was trying "to keep it light". I forgot how careful you must be on the Internet with words.
You answered one of two questions, making yours the best answer. 1949
The secrecy, I hate. But at least you told us, the public, that certain questions cannot be answered in the public arena.
I visited FAQ to tab the professor's reply "best answer". But I was unable to fathom it. Not all of us have high IQs. :-).
CuriousC, as the author of the original post, you should be able to see "mark as best answer" on each response; just click on the one you want.
No insult was taken from the way you posted curiousC. I do understand how frustrating it can be when some things that you think should be in the public domain are surrounded by relative secrecy.

As I implied, I could give you a far more comprehensive answer to this question than I have done, but I have major reservations about doing so. Some matters are best left alone and cans of worms are best left unopened. I would say that if one of my students tried writing a paper on this, I would suggest that they choose another substance instead.

If you sit down and think about the year crotamiton was first marketed and the situation in Europe during the previous decade, you may get some idea of how crotamiton development came about. You're also likely to make a good guess as to the country that crotamiton was developed. The chemical industry in a nearby country actually "invented" crotamiton. Finally, although crotamiton has been marketed predominantly as an anti-pruritic in recent years, it was at the time of development, a very good scabies mite remedy.

Now you should be able to arrive at your own conclusion. Incidentally, although Crotamiton has been marketed by Ciba-Geigy as "Eurax" cream an lotion, I'm old enough to remember it as "Teevex".

Finally, there are one or two internet websites that claim to show the production steps for manufacturing Crotamiton in the laboratory. Having reviewed the instructions, they contain the same fundamental precursor error which would result in failure.


Whilst Wikipedia can be admirable regarding some topics, whiskeryron, the OP had clearly reached a level of research way beyond what could be found on the Wikipedia webpage. This was verified when he stated that he or she had already stated that he had looked at the previous discussion pages on this that were cited by jno.

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