David Jack was the Director of Research and Development of Allen & Hanburys Ltd and then Glaxo Holdings plc from 1961 to 1987. His aim over all these years was to concentrate the companies’ research on inventing treatments for common diseases such as those affecting the respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. Under his research direction, Glaxo became one of the most successful pharmaceutical companies in the world. Medicines that he invented—salbutamol, salmeterol, beclamethasone dipropionate and fluticasone propionate—revolutionized the treatment of bronchial asthma by cutting down the incidence of acute asthma attacks, preventing hospital admissions and reducing the death rate from the disease. He also invented ranitidine for the treatment of peptic ulcer, which became the best-selling pharmaceutical product in the world. He was also responsible for the invention of sumatriptan for the treatment of migraine and ondansetron for the prevention of radiotherapy-induced nausea. David Jack was one of the most successful inventors of new medicines in the twentieth century.
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