The manufacturers of medicinal preparations that ought not to be used are adepts in the twisting of language. When the fight against the use of nostrums was renewed some fifteen or twenty years ago, they tried to confuse "nostrums," i. e., secret remedies, with "proprietaries," i. e., preparations legally or by custom private property; and even the trustees of the American Medical Association were, for a time, thus deceived. Just as this confusion is being cleared up, it does not seem wise for those physicians and pharmacists who desire to bring about the scientific use of medicines, to introduce it again by denunciations launched indiscriminately against two or three different classes of preparations.
Hence, at a recent meeting at which this subject was discussed, I emphasized again the distinction for which I have been fighting, lo, these twenty years. I protested against the unfairness of describing as "nostrum-users" physicians who
COHEN SS. THE PRESCRIBING OF PROPRIETARIES, ESPECIALLY PROPRIETARY MIXTURES.. JAMA. 1908;LI(12):989-991. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410120033002g