Tue, Dec




Sevoflurane is the amazing story of the dedicated team that brought Sevoflurane, the most used global inhalation anesthetic to the world, despite the odds.

Buy the Book!


Sevoflurane is the amazing story of the dedicated team that brought Sevoflurane, the most used global inhalation anesthetic to the world, despite the odds.

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and the numerous obstacles along the way. Read about their tenaciousness and determination, and eventual success.

Why this book?

Sevoflurane - the Untold Story of how a dedicated team brought the most used inhalation anesthetic to the World.Two people have asked me this question when I told them I was writing the book on the development of Sevoflurane. One was Dr. Ted Eger when I met him at the ASA meeting in 2010. He had just finished telling me that he was writing the definitive book on anesthesia and there would be mention of Sevoflurane. The second was Martin McGlynn, former president of Anaquest, when I met him recently in California. The answer to both was the same. The story of the team that brought the drug to market despite incredible odds needed to be told. The team deserves recognition for all of their hard work. And another reason was to describe many of the lessons learned, that were invaluable to us as we struggled with our project and that I hope will be valuable in many different ways to readers. I look forward to any comments you may share or questions you may have.

Who should read this engrossing story?

* Anyone who likes to read a good story!
* Anesthesiologists and CRNAs: especially those who use Sevoflurane/Ultane in their practice.
* Physicians: especially those who are curious about how the drugs they prescribe get to the market.
* Healthcare workers from many different disciplines who are interested in the safety measures in place to protect patients from untested drugs
* Medical historians: especially those who are curious about the evolution of different chemical entities into useful therapeutic agents.
* Researchers: especially those looking for ways to explain to friends and family the length of time involved in finding an elusive answer.
* Entry level pharmaceutical employees: they will get an idea of how their new world may function,
* Pharmaceutical industry employees: they may recognize some of the characteristics of their current environment.
* Venture Capitalists: especially those considering a plunge into a new therapeutic area.
* Project managers: this program was an example of how a major project should be handled for an optimal outcome.
* Patients-and the general public: especially those who have had or will have a general anesthetic –to gain a greater understanding of the care taken to protect them when drugs are being evaluated and approved for use.
* Employees in any large-or even small company: especially those who may be bewildered by some management actions.
* Managers: especially those new to their role to get some tips on dealing with some of the political intrigue within their organization
* Crisis managers: the book has a description of how a crisis was averted-one that would have dealt a deathblow to a new to the market product.
* Marketing and sales managers: especially those who are interested in strategic approaches.

Launch Events for Sevoflurane
Several 2012 events are already lined up to introduce Sevoflurane to the reading public.

* A launch party will be held at the Lake Forest Club on May 16th.

* Dr Callan and the book will be at the Illinois Society of Anesthesia June 2nd in Chicago.
* The book will be featured at the Institute of Medicine Chicago Annual meeting in June. Dr. Callan will be there to sign autographed copies.
* Discussions are underway to have an author presentation session at Senior Centers, including Dickinson Hall in Lake Forest in the summer.
* A formal presentation of the book to the President of the College of Anesthetists in Dublin, Ireland during their sprig meeting-date to be arranged
* The book will be featured in the exhibit hall at the ASA meeting in Washington DC in October
* The book will be featured in the Book Club section of the Irish American News- a monthly publication
* Some radio talk hosts are interested in discussing the book and the project on their programs. Details will be confirmed later.

Any physician or medical group interested in a presentation on this interesting challenge should contact Dr. Callan directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Any club or senior group interested in learning more about the mysteries of drug development, or managerial approaches should contact Dr. Callan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Women’s groups may have an interest in hearing about the success of the team in overcoming many challenges.


Clair M Callan MD, MBA, CPE, FACPE.
Clair Callan MD was named Anesthesia Venture Head at Abbott Laboratories early in 1992. This was the Venture that would be given the ultimate responsibility for developing Sevoflurane—if all of the legal obstacles could be overcome. Clair had no prior experience as a Venture Head, but it was not the first time she had accepted a challenging position without what was considered the necessary experience. The team that she initially formed had no experience either—so they all learned together. This lack of experience probably was one of the reasons that the team gelled together so effectively. Everyone grew at the same time as the project progressed towards a very successful outcome despite a perilous path filled with many obstacles and lots of challenges.

Callan was born in England of Irish parents while her father was a pilot officer in the RAF during the WWII Battle of Britain. Following the war, she returned with her parents to Ireland where, for thirty years, her physician mother was the only anesthesiologist at St. Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire near Dublin.

Clair graduated in medicine from the National University of Ireland (UCD) and trained in anesthesia at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital Dublin. She migrated to the US in the mid 1960s and worked as an anesthesiologist at McCook (later University of Connecticut) and St. Francis Hospitals in Hartford, CT.

In 1979 Clair switched gears and entered medical administration. She was appointed medical director of the Connecticut State Medicaid program. During that time she oversaw all of the clinical components of the program and participated in the development of appropriate policies for the program as well as working with the auditing department to monitor expenditures. This position was her first experience in a professional management situation. However, many of her management skills had been obtained in leadership roles in many community organizations, including the PTA and a variety of women's organizations.

She was active in organized medicine, held various positions with the Connecticut State Medical Society and edited special editions of Connecticut Medicine. In addition, she became president of the American Medical Women's Association. Clair joined Abbott Laboratories in 1984 and rose to become vice president of Regulatory affairs and Advanced Research for the hospital products division. It was during this time she had responsibility for developing Sevoflurane.

Clair left Abbott for the American Medical Association in 1999 where she became Vice President of Science, Quality and Public health and director of professional standards (acting.) She remained active in organized medicine and became president of the Illinois Medical Society and also president of the American College of Physician Executives. Clair left the AMA in 2005 to found her consulting company, Callan Consulting. Clair and her husband Sean live in Lake Forest, IL. They have four grown children.

Clair has developed several programs, including the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement at the AMA, a multi-specialty organization that developed core performance measurements to assess quality of care delivered to patients. Under her leadership the initial resistance to performance standards was overcome, and the physicians from all specialties became a cohesive effective group that produced measures now accepted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and private insurers. She was the Senior Fellow for the National Alliance for Health Information Technology, where she developed a program for physician education and use of electronic health records. She also worked after Hurricane Katrina with the Redesign Healthcare for Louisiana team led by the Secretary of Health and Hospitals for Louisiana.