How Quincy M.E. Changed U.S. Medical History

As some readers may know (or indeed have spotted on here), TV history is one of my particular areas of interest. There’s a piece of US history I feel is particularly interesting and overlooked, and thus worth a mention here.

This is the remarkable role that the TV show Quincy M.E., in particular its star Jack Klugman, had in helping pass a landmark piece of US legislation – the 1983 Orphan Drug Act.

Before the Orphan Drugs Act thousands of Americans with rare diseases, and indeed people throughout the world, stood no chance of seeing drugs developed to cure or relieve their pain. Cold, hard business logic meant it simply wasn’t economically viable for the drug companies to develop and gain approval for them.

Then one day a stubborn congressman, a brave young Tourette’s sufferer and his desperate mother, and Jack Klugman and the crew of Quincy decided it was time something was done about it and…

…well that would be spoiling it wouldn’t it? Come and read it for yourself.

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