The Bayer Company - the same corporation that produces Bayer aspirin - invented, and sold, heroin. Big Pharma, baby! Puttin' it all on the line for the common man!
It was the late 19th century, and the Bayer Company was on the prowl for a cough medicine lacking addictive side effects. Although aspirin seemed promising, the corporation was far more intrigued by a narcotic known as diacetylmorphine, brought to their attention by an in-house chemist.
The drug in question induced a feeling of heroism, according to its test subjects. Since Bayer is a pharmaceutical company based in Germany, human guinea pigs used the term "heroisch" - German for heroic - to describe their experiences while under the influence of diacetylmorphine. Hence, the eventual name of the drug.
According to The Sunday Times in London, by 1899, Bayer was crankin' out a literal ton of heroin per year, and sellin' their brand of legalized euphoria to 23 different countries.
In 1907, the American Medical Association approved the drug, which today physicians know to be highly addictive, and quite often fatal, if used over a protracted period of time. Comforting, isn't it?
By 1913, Bayer reached the same conclusion, after some of its best customers suffered adverse side effects - such as death - through continued consumption of the smack. The corporation wisely chose to discontinue heroin from its product line. Bayer, instead, decided to promote another one of its inventions; the far less potent aspirin, which only causes one's digestive system - including one's asshole - to bleed.