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One of the most striking features of the twentieth century has been the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the large increases in the use and consumption of its products. This trend began in the first half of the century, but accelerated most sharply after the Second World War, when the creation of national systems of healthcare created mass markets for drugs. The industry then assumed a major economic, social and political significance, and became one of the most highly regulated sectors of the economy, attracting the attention of industry analysts as well as academics. This volume brings together a collection of papers exploring and reflecting upon some of the significant strands in the current studies of pharmaceuticals in the twentieth century. They touch upon many of the issues that are matters of concern and debate today, and their international and multidisciplinary approaches enrich our understanding of an object, of an industry, and of a process that are at the heart of our highly medicalized contemporary societies.