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February 28, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(9):590. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490090038008

The recent utterances of the New York health commissioner showing the adulteration in the pharmaceutical retail drug trade, and still later remarks of the chemist of the Agricultural department to the New York Society of Medical Jurisprudence, alike indicate the existence of an evil that especially affects the medical practitioner.1 If we can not depend on the dispenser for pure articles in our prescriptions the administration of medicine is a farce, and we had better go back to the old saddle bag or the more modern buggy case. If reputable drug stores, such as are many of the 300 from which the samples were obtained by the New York health commissioner, can not be relied on, the situation would seem to be discouraging. We can not lay everything to the retailers, however; they are themselves often victims and the matter needs further investigation. The foundation of a government drug

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