Written by Mark Terry The unfortunate death of Michael Jackson and the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray has made a little-known drug, propofol (marketed as Diprivan by AstraZeneca), into a household name. What is fundamentally important about drugs like propofol may not only be what they’re used for but their impact on the economy. Propofol was originally developed in the UK by Imperial Chemical Industries (see U.S. Patent No. 4056635). Though clinical trials followed in 1977, due to negative reactions, the formulation was withdrawn from the market and subsequently reformulated as an emulsion of a soya oil/propofol mixture in water.