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2-Hydroxybenzoic acid, or salicylic acid (SA), is among the most important medicinal compounds ever discovered. Since ancient times, humans have benefited from the therapeutic effects of naturally occurring SA precursors, which readily metabolize to SA and provide analgesic, anti- inflammatory and antipyretic benefits. Today, synthetic SA continues to play an important role as an active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) topical drug products and as a precursor to other drug compounds such as aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), methyl salicylate and the sunscreen actives homosalate and octisalate. SA is also a critical starting material for the synthesis of certain fragrance ingredients, including benzyl salicylate and isoamyl salicylate.
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