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Attention doctorportal newsletter subscribers,

After December 2018, we will be moving elements from the doctorportal newsletter to MJA InSight newsletter and rebranding it to Insight+. If you’d like to continue to receive a newsletter covering the latest on research and perspectives in the medical industry, please subscribe to the Insight+ newsletter here.

As of January 2019, we will no longer be sending out the doctorportal email newsletter. The final issue of this newsletter will be distributed on 13 December 2018. Articles from this issue will be available to view online until 31 December 2018.

[Perspectives] Rediscovering penicillin

“When a new drug is introduced, take it quickly, because it doesn’t work very long”. This quietly cynical mantra was common among scientifically minded 19th-century doctors who were critical of the pharmaceutical armamentarium at their disposal. They were happy to identify themselves as therapeutic sceptics, or even nihilists. Even the uniformly cheerful Sir William Osler (1849–1919) thought the best medical practice would mostly use tried and trusted remedies, such as iron, opium, and digitalis.

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