On Friday, June 13 2008 (2:00 – 5:00 pm) Dr Andrea Tone will talk about “The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers” at Medical Museion in Copenhagen. Here is the abstract of Andrea’s talk:
“In the last 50 years, we have increasingly turned to a pharmaceutical solution for the problem of everyday nerves. Today, drugs for anxiety are a billion-dollar business in the United States. Yet as recently as 1955, when the first prescription tranquilizer –Miltown – became available, pharmaceutical executives worried that there would not be a market for anxiety-relief. Instead, Miltown became a commercial sensation, the first prescription psychotropic blockbuster in United States history. The drug’s financial success and cultural impact revolutionized perceptions of anxiety and its treatment.”
Andrea Tone will provide the first comprehensive account of the rise of America’s tranquilizer culture based on her new book ”The Age of Anxiety” (forthcoming with Basic Books, December 2008). Drawing on a range of original sources – manufacturers’ files, FDA reports, letters, government investigations, popular culture, and interviews with inventors, physicians, patients and activists – Andrea Tone has explored the history of the drug’s development, popularity, and later discrediting within the political, economic, and cultural contexts in which America’s contested but enduring relationship with tranquilizers took shape.”
Andrea Tone is Canada Research Chair in the Social History of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She is the author of numerous articles and books including ”Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America”, named one of the best books by Washington Post.
Moderators: Rikke Krølner (DSPM) and Jesper Vaczy Kragh (Medical Museion)
See http://www.dspm.dk/ for more information.