PROPRIETARY MEDICINE A RECENT DEVELOPMENT.
The proprietary medicine business as we know it is a development of only a little over a generation. In 1875, Lawrence, of Medical Brief fame (?), and his junta of nostrum makers, whose output and that of their offshoots alone have run into the hundreds, were unknown. Thirty years ago the so-called German synthetic chemicals were unheard of as medicines; now, if we include the true and the false, there are thousands of them. Including the typical nostrums, the more or less legitimate proprietary mixtures and the synthetic compounds, the number of proprietary medicines has become so vast that no one is rash enough to attempt to estimate it. A few of these, we may admit, have a distinct value; they represent original work and are worthy of recognition as remedial agents. The vast majority, however, are but the simplest of mixtures or are well-known drugs
SIMMONS GH. THE COMMERCIAL DOMINATION OF THERAPEUTICS AND THE MOVEMENT FOR REFORM.. JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(20):1645-1653. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25220460001001