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Arthur M. Sackler
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    (August 22, 1913-May 26, 1987)
    Born in Brooklyn, New York
    Psychiatrist, marketer, art collector, and philanthropist
    Director of Research at Creedmoor Institute for Psychological Studies (1949-54)
    Editor of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Psychology (1950-62)
    Published 140 scientific papers
    Copywriter at (and later owner of) the advertising agency William Douglas McAdams
    Considered a pioneer of direct marketing of pharmaceuticals to physicians
    With his brothers, co-owned Perdue Pharma
    Endowed the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Studies at New York University, and the Sackler School of Biomedical Studies at Tufts University
    Donated funds and artworks for the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute
    He was married three times, divorced twice.
    In an ad he designed for Pfizer, he showed an array of doctors' business cards and the legend 'More and more physicians find Sigmamycin the antibiotic therapy of choice.' A reporter from the Saturday Evening Post tried to contact the doctors named on the cards, only to discover that they did not exist (1956).
    He promoted Valium for so many conditions -- including in one ad the 'patient with no demonstrable pathology' (or in other words, people with no actual problems) -- that one doctor wondered in an editorial, 'When do we not use this drug?'
    One of his companies, MD Publications, paid Henry Welch, the head of the antibiotics division of the FDA, nearly $300,000 to promote certain drugs.
    One psychiatrist wrote, 'Most of the questionable practices that propelled the pharmaceutical industry into the scourge it is today can be attributed to Arthur Sackler.' (2017)
    He was the first doctor to use ultrasound for medical diagnoses.
    He kept New York City's first blood banks from being racially segregated.
    He collection of Chinese art was considered the largest and best in the world.
    Forbes magazine defended him by noting, 'Of course, fraudulent marketing is very wrong indeed. But it is an absurd inversion of logic to say that because Arthur Sackler pioneered direct marketing to physicians, he is responsible for the fraudulent misuse of that technique.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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