Friday, October 08, 2004

Our heroin is better than our aspirin

Chemical giant Bayer did not just synthesize aspirin. In fact, they advertised "Our Heroin is better than our Aspirin".

Heinrich Dreser of Bayer in Elberfeld, Germany, registered heroin (meaning 'heroic treatment' from the German word heroisch) as a trademark. From 1898 through to 1910 it was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough medicine for children.

Bayer began an advertising campaign in 1900; ads praised the medication across the globe in 12 languages. Bayer sent thousands of free samples to doctors.

In 1924, the United States' Heroin Act made it illegal to manufacture or possess heroin in that country. In Germany, heroin has been illegal since 1971.