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March 21, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(12):787. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490120039008

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The extent of the proprietary medicine trade is well illustrated by a recent statement in the New York Commercial, in its Indianapolis dispatches, that the latter city can, when running its manufactories at full capacity, supply annually over 21,000,000 ordinary barrels of remedies—of all kinds, we presume. It claimed in the dispatch that Indianapolis is the great medicine manufacturing city of the country and supplies not only the adjoining states, but more remote regions and even foreign countries. How much the popularity of patent medicines is due to the alcoholic contents of many of the nostrums it would be hard to say, but undoubtedly they go a long way in satisfying the appetite that for conventional, social or legal reasons can not be fully gratified otherwise. If the statements are true as regards this one city, what can we calculate as the drug output of the country as a whole?

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