Wild Yam
Profile of a Pharmacologist

Kent Margason
Medical Researcher

Reprinted from: Exotic Research Report (Volume 1, Issue 1; Jan/Feb/Mar 1996)

Family Roots
As a medical researcher people often ask "What's the best DHEA precursor?." While I am not a physician and cannot diagnose, prescribe or treat, I can search the many repositories of knowledge around the world and come up with an answer. A strong indicator of a product's integrity is the man behind the formulation. One of the first pharmokenetic experts and DHEA advocates was Jim Jamieson.

While most of us were playing cowboys and Indians or shooting buckets, Jamieson's childhood consisted of playing with his father's pharmaceutical paraphernalia, keening in on his interest for botanical knowledge and sharpening his tenacity for the who, what, when, where and why of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The Jamieson family has been in the pharmaceutical manufacturing business for over 100 years in the United States, and even before that in Ireland. Grandfather Jamieson established a reputable pharmaceutical manufacturing company producing products for the major drug companies. He was there at the forefront in creating the oral dosage of penicillin for Schenley Labs and liquid antacids.

Jim's father is considered one of the truly great pharmaceutical technicians in America serving as consultant and advisor to Eli Lilly, Kendel Co., Merck, and others. Along with Dr. Koltz, he developed the first diagnostic equipment which allowed physicians to do in-office blood work, resulting in a substantial savings in time and money. This equipment and company sold to Hoerscht Roussel, is state-of-the-art, still today.

A Prolific Innovator
With these "big shoes" to fill, young Jamieson spread his own innovative wings and created quite an impressive list of achievements himself. While a pre-med student at Washington University, his father became ill and he had to work the family business full time. He continued his education, including graduate work at the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. At that time, universities did not teach pharmaceutical manufacturing, an art as well as a science. Intrigued with manufacturing and equipment design, he developed equipment which eliminated many of the drawbacks found in equipment at that time. For example:

  • Developed the P/K blender, a bladeless blender, eliminating cross contaminants which mixes both wet and dry. It allows the addition of microdoses of active ingredients, resulting in very accurate dosages.

  • Created automatic sugar and film coating equipment and a fluid bed drying system.

  • Developed the process to convert penicillin G to Ampicillin resulting in a dramatic cost reduction.

  • First to import the broad spectrum antibiotic tetracycline HCL, which cracked the international pharmaceutical cartel.

  • Developed a process based on cold lypholization to convert Quinine HCL to Quinidine Sulfate, a natural Cinchona-derived cardiovascular drug. (The European cartel controlled the processing of both Quinine and Quinidine. By importing European Quinine into the US, Jamieson economically converted it to Quinidine.)

  • For eight long years fought a "David and Goliath" battle to establish the right to manufacture generic drugs. The industry flourishes today because of that victory. Jamieson's belief that the delivery system of a drug is just as important as the active ingredient led to the pioneering delivery system for oral, topical and liquid dosage forms. He also did the original work on transdermal and adhesive systems. Jamieson became one of the nation's most sought-after formulators, and holds over 100 drug patents.

Throughout the years Jamieson has served as consultant for Merck & Co., 3M, Byk Guilden, Glaxo, Dome Chemical, Armour Pharmaceutical, Hoffman LaRoche, Rikers Labs, Warner Lambert, Con Beverage, and Dow Chemical.

Other major milestones in the pharmaceutical world that he is noted for include:

  • Formed the first mail-order prescription service in America.
  • Founded the Payless Pharmacare and Med Save Pharmacy chains.
  • Developed the first unit dose liquid medication dispensing system in hospitals.
  • Developed the first time released niacin supplement which eliminated the unpleasant side effects.
  • Developed the first solid oral dosage form of Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  • Developed the first sustained release Papaverine (Pavab II) and licensed this to Nysco Labs, who in turn manufactured for Marion Laboratories.
  • Developed the first non-alcoholic liquid delivery system for pediatric medication.

Looking to the Future...
Most recently, Jamieson's interests have focused on polymer technology. He has developed various natural and synthetic polymer systems used pharmaceutically as a sustained reservoir for oral, topical and parenternal dosage forms. They are used as liquid membrane systems for rapid and prolonged active dosage forms.

Having always been interested in phyto nutrients, nutrition and diet, he was principal in formulating the first topical wild yam creams in the Seventies. While magazine articles have seemingly made outrageous claims for DHEA saying it can cure cancer, old age or what ever else ails you, reputable scientific journals have supported the statements from studies designed to see if DHEA will boost immunity in elderly people, prevent experimental cancers, limit damage from burns, help relieve the symptoms of lupus, and of course, answer questions about the cellular changes associated with aging.

Although the jury is still out to determine whether DHEA supplements can retard aging, many scientists hope that their research will lead to its approval for certain uses, many of which are closely correlated with growing older.

In 1994, Jim Jamieson rolled out his proprietary line of DHEA precursor formulations. Under the trade names DHEA Plus™ and Vita-DHEA™, he has established a leading command in the DHEA supplement industry with these two flagship products. When you buy these products you will know you are buying the best... from a man who just won't stand still or rest on past laurels!__KM

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