The twentieth century’s arsenal of chemical anthelmintics brought manifold improvement in human health and, more abundantly, in animal health. The benefits were not only in health per se but also in agricultural economics, livestock management, and the overall production of food and fiber to support expanding human populations. Nevertheless, there remains (due in large part to drug resistance and paucity of available vaccines) a great need for new means of controlling disease caused by parasitic worms. Prudence should persuade us to look to our past for lessons that might help in our quest for new drugs. The lessons suggested here derive from the history of ivermectin and other anthelmintics. They deal with the means of finding substances with useful antiparasitic activity and with alternative approaches to drug discovery.