Medicine: Massengill Pays

Sulfanilamide tablets and injections work wonders with gonorrhea, meningitis and various streptococcic diseases. But sulfanilamide combined with other drugs may prove fatal, as Dr. Samuel Evans Massengill, 67-year-old pharmaceutical manufacturer of Bristol, Tenn., discovered last year when his "Elixir of Sulfanilamide" (sulfanilamide dissolved in diethylene glycol) killed over 100 people (TIME, Dec. 20). Kin of the victims promptly started civil suits, to date have collected more than $150,000 damages from S. E. Massengill Co.

Prosecution by the Government, however, was limited to minor charges under the old 1906 Pure Food & Drug...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!