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August 6, 1910

Current Comment

JAMA. 1910;55(6):508-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330060060023

PHARMACOLOGIC NONENTITIES  It is probably a fact that if an enterprising pharmaceutical house should put a milk-sugar tablet on the market under a fancy name, endow it with the marvelous properties that so many proprietary products are wont to have, and spend a small fortune in advertising it through medical journals—milk-sugar would become (under its proprietary name) one of the most popular of the "newer remedies." As a corollary we should read learned (?) articles gravely detailing the wonderful results from the use of milk-sugar, appearing in those medical journals which either carried advertisements of it or hoped to carry advertisements of it. Furthermore, should investigators publish the results of scientific investigations of the product, showing that the therapeutic potency of milk-sugar was zero, such investigators would unquestionably be referred to as "theorists," "therapeutic nihilists" and "mere impractical faddists." That this hypothetical case is not overdrawn is proven by conditions that

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