Jack Dreyfus: Remarkable
By the time he reached his mid-forties, Jack Dreyfus
was one of America’s most successful businessmen. He was the founder of the flourishing Dreyfus & Co and the Dreyfus Fund and winner of numerous awards in advertising, horseracing, gin rummy playing, golf, and tennis. He was literally at the top of his game.
All was not well, however. At the height of his fortune, he came down with crippling depression that left him sleepless, anxious, and distracted. He went to his doctor and asked him if he might try a drug called Dilantin, previously known only as an anti-epileptic. Dreyfus had a hunch that his depression was caused by his body not regulating its electricity properly and he knew that Dilantin helped deal with this problem in epileptics. Within a few hours of taking the drug, Dreyfus felt better, and began to investigate the other properties of the drug. He was astounded to find out that thousands of other medical studies had shown Dilantin to be useful for more than fifty other symptoms and disorders. However, because the drug was out of patent, there was no incentive for drug companies to petition the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to make it available for these other disorders. Thus, as far as doctors knew, Dilantin was only suitable for epilepsy.
For the last forty years of his life, Dreyfus has been working through his charitable and health foundations to make politicians, physicians, and the general public aware of the extraordinary healing properties of Dilantin. Because of his work, the drug is now used more widely in America, and especially overseas, where its affordability and lack of negative side-effects have made it valuable in the treatment of cancer, AIDS, skin diseases, nausea, heart problems, attention deficit disorder, and many other illnesses. In spite of the documented evidence, however, the government and the pharmaceutical industry have resisted making the drug more widely available.
The Story of a Remarkable Medicine
relates the extraordinary details of how this unlikely genius of finance and humanitarianism became the man he is. Told with Jack’s inimitable sense of humor and charm, the book also contains full details of the story of Dilantin and basic outlines of where and how it has proven useful. Written in Frustration
is a short, pungent, and very funny take on Jack’s attempts as a private citizen with no financial interest in a drug trying to get the government and pharmaceutical industry to work for the public interest rather than personal or private gain. Composed in the spirit of Jack’s favorite American, Mark Twain, both books reflect the great humorist’s scathing wit, passionate belief in the rights of individuals, and distrust of the inertia of government and unchecked corporate power.