Drugs are used in the diagnosis, alleviation, treatment, prevention or cure of disease. This is a book about drugs, how they came to be, and how they exert their ‘magic’. Today we have drugs to protect against infectious diseases, to alleviate aches and pains, to allow new organs to replace the old, and for brain functions to be modified. Yet, for the most part the manner by which drugs are developed and by whom remains a mystery. Drugs are more than just a pill or liquid and some have markedly altered history. The author has selected a few drugs – highlights representing milestones affecting our well-being and influencers of social change. The stories told are dramatic and include spectacular successes and dismal failures. And the people about whom these stories are told are both saints and sinners – selfless and conniving – bold and mercurial and shy and retiring loner. The drugs themselves mirror the diversity of their origin stories and the author assembles all sides of these fascinating stories.