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Therapeutic RevolutionsPharmaceuticals and Social Change in the Twentieth Century$
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Jeremy A. Greene, Flurin Condrau, and Elizabeth Siegel Watkins

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226390734

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226390901.001.0001

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Revolutionary Markets? Approaching Therapeutic Innovation and Change through the Lens of West German IMS Health Data, 1959–1980

Revolutionary Markets? Approaching Therapeutic Innovation and Change through the Lens of West German IMS Health Data, 1959–1980

Chapter:
(p.97) Four Revolutionary Markets? Approaching Therapeutic Innovation and Change through the Lens of West German IMS Health Data, 1959–1980
Source:
Therapeutic Revolutions
Author(s):

Nils Kessel

Christian Bonah

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226390901.003.0005

In this chapter, the reading of historical market data from IMS Health suggests that the twentieth century therapeutic revolution was not a straightforward process of radical change with a clear cut boundary between an ancient regime and a new present. Instead, the authors delineate the multiple forms of therapeutic change that took place in different fields of therapy. This chapter sheds light on selected drug markets in a twofold manner. First, it investigates to what degree “revolutionary” medicines were present in pharmacy purchases in the 1960s and 1970s. Second, it analyzes markets for drugs that do not appear in the classical therapeutic revolution narrative. Antibiotics and cardiovascular drugs serve as examples of the former, and analgesics, hypnotics, and sedatives serve as examples of the latter. Approaching the therapeutic revolution from the less investigated perspective of sales, this chapter suggests that the therapeutic revolution narrative is highly normative. Like other progress narratives, it mobilizes a selective vision of a glorious past to legitimize action in the present and future.

Keywords:   pharmaceutical industry, twentieth century history, West Germany, history of marketing, business history, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs

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