Cerebrino Mandri, advertising and medicines, by Xavier Carmaniu Mainadé

At this point in the pandemic there will be almost no one who at some point has not done an antigen test to see if he had been infected. And it is that among the many things that we have learned after two years fighting the coronavirus, in the list we can include the knowledge that our saliva provides a lot of information of how healthy we are.

Well, the group Headache and Neurological Pain at Vall d’Hebron Hospital of Barcelona has made public that by means of saliva tests they can know what is the best therapy that they can administer to each patient when they have a migraine attack. Scientific advances in recent years are allowing it to become a reality a great change in medical and pharmacological treatments, and instead of dispensing the same medicine to everyone, everyone is provided with what they really need, because health professionals have long known that Not everyone works the same things. Our readers who suffer from migraines know this very well.

When two migraineurs meet, sooner or later the conversation ends up reaching the point where remedies are exchanged and recommendations are made that claim to be infallible. Until not too many years ago, one of these solutions was to resort to a peculiar painkiller named Cerebrino Mandri. In fact, if it ended up being marketed, it was precisely because of word of mouth among patients and because of the vision of its inventor’s son, who was actually called Mandri. Ramon Mandri Campanar. He was a pharmacist who worked in Figueres during the 19th century. So, these health professionals not only dispensed medicines, but also made their own formulas. He created a product that was used to combat headaches, but who made him succeed was his son, Francesc Mandri Vila.

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Born in the Empordà capital in 1883, he first studied medicine and got his doctorate. Unlike his father, he settled in Barcelona and, parallel to his work, he also began to work to improve the paternal formula. Seeing that he did not have enough formulation knowledge, When he was older he studied Pharmacy and he graduated in 1922, when he was 39 years old.

The result of his commercial audacity was the birth of one of the most famous brands in the Catalan pharmaceutical industry: Cerebrino Mandri. If it achieved such popularity, it was both because of its effectiveness and also because of the intense advertising campaigns. The ads, which appeared in the big newspapers and magazines, always featured a man with a stern demeanor, dressed in a cutaway and white shirt who, with an authoritative gesture, pointed to the name of the product with the index finger of his right hand. That iconic character from advertising arose from the ingenuity and talent of the legendary cartoonist Gaietà Cornet. That artist was part of the brilliant generation of illustrators who succeeded thanks to the good health of the Catalan press. Among the best known authors They were Junceda, Elias-Apa, Llaverias, Opisso… His works appeared in the pages of headers such as ‘Cu-Cut’, ‘L’Esquella de la Torratxa’, ‘El Patufet’, ‘La Veu de Catalunya’… A world that disappeared with the Franco dictatorship.

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Regarding the manufacture of the medicine, it began producing in a pharmacy on Ample Street. As the business grew, it moved to larger facilities, until it opened its definitive headquarters on Provença street. Francis Mandri no longer moved from Barcelona, ​​where he died in 1971. Despite its disappearance, that remedy against pain born in Figueres continued to be sold until 2008, when the Spanish Medicines Agency ordered to withdraw it from the market. That preparation that emerged from an Empordà pharmacy did not pass the controls of the 21st century, but its iconic image has remained engraved in the memory of many generations who turned to Cerebrino Mandri as the only hope to combat migraines. The next drugs will surely be much more effective in ending this terrible headache, but it is more than possible that they do not have such a peculiar name like this.


History of Mandri Street

Although in Barcelona there is a Mandri street, is not dedicated to pharmacists Ramon and Francesc, to recognize his work creating the famous medicine, but to another branch of the family that had the Can Mandri farmhouse in that same area; when Sant Gervasi de Cassoles was not yet a neighborhood of the city, but a small town on the outskirts of the capital.

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