Four scientists have won prestigious medical awards for genetics research and development of a widely used anesthetic nicknamed "milk of amnesia."
Winners of the $250,000 awards from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation were announced Tuesday. The prizes will be presented later this month in New York.
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The clinical medicine award went to John B. Glen, who retired from the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, for discovering and developing the world's most widely used drug for inducing anesthesia. Nicknamed "milk of amnesia" for its white, oily appearance, propofol quickly causes sedation and amnesia when injected through an IV. Besides operating rooms and emergency departments, it's used in outpatient clinics for procedures like colonoscopies.
The drug was approved in the 1980s by the U.K. and the U.S. By the time propofol was declared an "essential medicine" by the World Health Organization in 2016, more than 190 million people had received it, the Lasker foundation said.
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