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The story of the discovery of aspirin stretches back more than 3500 years to when bark from the willow tree was used as a pain reliever and antipyretic. It involves an Oxfordshire clergyman, scientists at a German dye manufacturer, a Nobel Prize-winning discovery and a series of pivotal clinical trials. Aspirin is now the most commonly used drug in the world. Its role in preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease has been revolutionary and one of the biggest pharmaceutical success stories of the last century.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





674 - 683


acetylsalicylic acid, antiplatelet agent, aspirin, history, willow, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Antipyretics, Aspirin, Cardiovascular Diseases, Drug Discovery, Forecasting, Hematologic Diseases, Hemorrhage, History, 18th Century, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, History, Ancient, Plant Bark, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors, Salix