Another chapter from my book, 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, published in 2003, by Disinfo.
For more on me, please check out The Memory Hole.
Aspirin isn’t the only “wonder drug that works wonders” that Bayer made. The German pharmaceutical giant also introduced heroin to the world.
The company was looking for a cough suppressant that didn’t have problematic side effects, mainly addiction, like morphine and codeine. And if it could relieve pain better than morphine, that was a welcome bonus.
When one of Bayer’s chemists approached the head of the pharmacological lab with ASA — to be sold under the name “aspirin” — he was waved away. The boss was more interested in something else the chemists had cooked up — diacetylmorphine. (This narcotic had been created in 1874 by a British chemist, who had never done anything with it.)
Using the tradename “Heroin” — because early testers said it made them feel heroisch (heroic) — Bayer sold this popular drug by the truckload starting in 1898.… Read the rest