The publication of the twelfth edition of this book is a testament to the vision and ideals of the original authors, Alfred Gilman and Louis Goodman, who, in 1941 set forth the principles that have guided the book through eleven editions: to correlate pharmacology with related medical sciences, to reinterpret the actions and uses of drugs in light of advances in medicine and the basic biomedical sciences, to emphasize the applications of pharmacodynamics to therapeutics, and to create a book that will be useful to students of pharmacology and to physicians. These precepts continue to guide the current edition.
As with editions since the second, expert scholars have contributed individual chapters. A multiauthored book of this sort grows by accretion, posing challenges to editors but also offering memorable pearls to the reader. Thus, portions of prior editions persist in the current edition, and I hasten to acknowledge the contributions of previous editors and authors, many of whom will see text that looks familiar. However, this edition differs noticeably from its immediate predecessors. Fifty new scientists, including a number from outside the U.S., have joined as contributors, and all chapters have been extensively updated. The focus on basic principles continues, with new chapters on drug invention, molecular mechanisms of drug action, drug toxicity and poisoning, principles of antimicrobial therapy, and pharmacotherapy of obstetrical and gynecological disorders. Figures are in full color. The editors have continued to standardize the organization of chapters; thus, students should easily find the basic physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology set forth in regular type; bullet points highlight important lists within the text; the clinician and expert will find details in extract type under clear headings.
Online features now supplement the printed edition. The entire text, updates, reviews of newly approved drugs, animations of drug action, and hyperlinks to relevant text in the prior edition are available on the Goodman & Gilman section of McGraw-Hill's websites, AccessMedicine.com and AccessPharmacy.com. An Image Bank CD accompanies the book and makes all tables and figures available for use in presentations.
The process of editing brings into view many remarkable facts, theories, and realizations. Three stand out: the invention of new classes of drugs has slowed to a trickle; therapeutics has barely begun to capitalize on the information from the human genome project; and, the development of resistance to antimicrobial agents, mainly through their overuse in medicine and agriculture, threatens to return us to the pre-antibiotic era. We have the capacity and ingenuity to correct these shortcomings.
Many, in addition to the contributors, deserve thanks for their work on this edition; they are acknowledged on an accompanying page. In addition, I am grateful to Professors Bruce Chabner (Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital) and Björn Knollmann (Vanderbilt University Medical School) for agreeing to be associate editors of this edition at a late date, necessitated by the death of my colleague and friend Keith Parker in late 2008. Keith and I worked together on the eleventh edition and on planning this edition. In anticipation of the editorial work ahead, Keith submitted his chapters before anyone else and just a few weeks before his death; thus, he is well represented in this volume, which we dedicate to his memory.
Laurence L. Brunton
San Diego, California
December 1, 2010