Saturday, December 3, 2016

God bless Stewart Adams.

Stewart Adams is the British chemist who was the main mover in the development of ibuprofen. He is 93 years old, and he is my new best friend.

It's been a challenging week. If I hadn't had four deadlines it would have been less bad, but I did. Meanwhile, since company is coming, we had to clean the house and do some cooking and get the place all Christmassed up in a hurry. The latter especially involved those Christmas muscles that don't get used the other 11 months. I'm feeling them all this morning, each and every one.

We like the Liqui-Gel flavor best. 
Adams told Pharmacy Journal that in the early 1960s he and his crew had set out to find an anti-inflammatory and painkilling compound that would work better than aspirin (especially for rheumatoid arthritis) but without all the side effects of long-term corticosteroid use. They spent more than 16 years on the project, testing hundreds of drugs, but all of them failed due to unacceptable effects or lack of potency.

Adams said, “I did get depressed on more than one occasion. But I felt that, once we started to get the active compounds, there was something that would come out of it.”

Well, I sure am glad they stuck with it, and I don't even have arthritis.

Movement and stretching really help with stiffness and aches, but mornings like this seem to require something to get you to be able to move enough to get to the movement and stretching. Acetaminophen is a joke, a poor placebo, in my experience. Ibuprofen gets the job done.

Somehow Stewart Adams did not get a Nobel Prize for his work, despite the fact that he has helped millions of people with everything from hangovers to crippling joint pain. The Nobel guys are too busy sucking up to political weenies and pop songwriters to focus on real heroes, I guess. And Adams, whose work was done as an employee of Boots, did not get wealthy from the invention, either. "People assume that I must be a very rich man because of the success of ibuprofen but I can assure you that neither John [Nicholson, Adams’ scientific partner] nor I received any financial reward for the success that we did have."

This is so unfair! I think we ought to all chip in and send my new best friend Stew a case of whiskey or something for his 94th birthday. He's alleviated our pain; it's our turn to alleviate his.

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