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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 26, 2004


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2496. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2496-b

A writer in the British Medical Journal has made a study of the advertising methods of medicine manufacturers, using for the purpose the collection of samples received by a London surgeon. The total number of packages, mostly postal, weighed fifty-seven and one-half pounds, which did not include the bulky ones, such as mineral waters, etc. The postage on these amounted to 19 shillings and 8 pence, or about $4.75. One hundred and sixty-two of the packages were of British origin. The United States comes next with fifty, while France and Germany sent almost equal numbers, thirty-four and thirty-five, respectively. In many cases advertisements were accompanied with offers to send samples, which were not accepted. Those received ranged from a stout case containing four stone bottles of mineral water to a little box of tablets. Soap, ointments, tinctures, purgatives and analgesics formed the greater part. Lime juice and whiskey must not be forgotten, however, and "last but not least the babies' feeding bottle, which an enterprising firm, anxious for the future of the race, presented."

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