Death at 95 of the man whose hangover gave us ibuprofen

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Dr Stewart Adams

The man who discovered painkiller ibuprofen worked when he cured his own hangover has died aged 95. BBC News reports that Dr Stewart Adams was involved in 10 years of trials of the drug and endured a seven-year wait for it to be approved as a prescription.

He had joined the research department at Boots after studying pharmacy at the University of Nottingham.

The report says in 2015, Adams was quoted in an interview as saying that taking the drug for the first time gave him a clear head to deliver a speech.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff, from the University of Nottingham, said Adams’s career and contribution to patients was “inspiring”. “He is remembered for his successes in creating one of the most important painkillers in world but, as with many inspirational people, he had to bounce back from failures in earlier clinical trials before he and his team created ibuprofen,” he said. “His life is a reminder to everyone in Nottingham that we can change the world through the work we do in our local companies, hospitals and universities.”

The report says Adams, who was born in 1923 in Byfield, Northamptonshire, left school aged 16 and started an apprenticeship in a retail pharmacy run by Boots. This led to a degree in pharmacy at the University of Nottingham followed by a PhD in pharmacology at Leeds University, before he returned to the research department at Boots Pure Drug Company Ltd in 1952.

The report says Adams had been honoured for his research, with an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Nottingham, and two blue plaques from the Royal Society of Chemistry. He remained with Boots UK for the rest of his career, becoming head of pharmaceutical sciences.

The report quotes him as saying in 2015 what he was most pleased about was that hundreds of millions of people worldwide are now taking the drug he discovered.

BBC News report

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