Medicine: Honorable Tranki

The Japanese are a highly emotional people, they love to take pills, and they like to imitate Western customs. These factors create a rich market for tranquilizers. Last week Tokyo's Welfare Ministry reported that in 1957 the Japanese went wild for "tranki," poured out yen to the tune of $3.5 million for meprobamate alone. They were buying tranki without prescription at any handy drugstore, and swallowing them under the nerve-racking prodding of a hypertonic advertising campaign.

The tranki rage struck Japan with typhoon force in the fall of 1956, when the U.S.'s Lederle Laboratories...

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