- Only Human
Alcohol, Retinol and a 50-Year Quest for the Male Pill
Last Sunday, the day before the world’s population hit 7 billion, I went to a scientific meeting on the future of contraception.
I had expected to hear, and did hear, about a slew of labs trying to develop a birth control pill for men. What I did not expect: one pill was shown to work in men more than 50 years ago.
In the late 1950s, researchers from the University of Oregon and University of Washington tested drugs called ‘bis(dichloroacetyl) diamines’ on inmates from the Oregon State Penitentiary.* The scientists doled out one of three pills — dubbed Win 13,099, Win 17,416 and Win 18,446 — to 26 volunteers once or twice a day for up to 54 weeks,