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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 28, 2001


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2001;285(8):987. doi:10.1001/jama.285.8.987

A portion of the lay press is up in arms against the senate modification of the revenue bill that keeps up the stamp tax on proprietary medicines with secret formulæ. It is easy to see the motive of the opposition: the patent medicine advertiser is one of the chief sources of income of many newspapers and whatever is against his interests is against theirs also. This is no reason, however, why the interests of the public should not be held as above those of owners of private formulæ and advertising publishers. Patent medicines, so-called, are as a class directly harmful to the public, and it is unfortunate that the tax is not great enough to put them out of existence. But failing this, there is no reason why they should not contribute to the government revenues. It will, moreover, be a distinct advantage to the medical profession to know by a government mark, at sight, what preparations are ethical and what are not. The amended bill is now before a conference committee, and we trust that this senate amendment will go through unchanged.

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