Chemists have for many years determined the structures of naturally occurring medicinals, synthesized compounds for possible use as drugs, and speculated on the relations between chemical structure and pharmacologic activity and on the exact mechanisms of the actions of drugs in the body. It is only recently, however, that medicinal chemistry has achieved status as a separate branch of chemistry.
Now that medicinal chemistry is recognized and medicinal chemists have a place on the research teams that develop, test, and put into production new pharmaceuticals, there is a demand for courses in the subject. Dr. Burger's is one of the first textbooks for such a course. Like any pioneer, Dr. Burger has had to collect and condense a vast amount of scattered material. The extent of his task is indicated by the number of references cited, even though he has not attempted to be complete. It is, therefore, not surprising