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This Man's Pill: Reflections on the 50th Birthday of the Pill

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7314.698/a (Published 22 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:698
  1. Anna Glasier, director of family planning services
  1. Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust

    Carl Djerassi

    Oxford University Press, £12.99, pp 308

    ISBN 0 19 850872 7

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    This Man's Pill is published in the year that marks the 50th birthday of the oral contraceptive pill. The book is less about the pill than about the man, Carl Djerassi, the chemist responsible for synthesising the first orally active progestogen—norethindrone.


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    Born in Vienna but educated in the United States, at the age of 25 Djerassi was recruited by the pharmaceutical company Syntex to devise a practical method of synthesising cortisone from the Mexican yam. In October 1951 Djerassi and …

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