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Book and Media Reviews
February 27, 2008

Popular Medicines: An Illustrated History

JAMA. 2008;299(8):964-965. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.964

The primary purpose of Popular Medicines: An Illustrated History by the Pharmaceutical Press is to present in detail “a small number of popular medicines that the public once purchased in the belief that these medicines would cure their illnesses and diseases at prices they could afford” (p 1). The selected audience for this book are those individuals specifically interested in an historical perspective of the 21 popular medicines depicted. These medicines came into being as early as the 12th century. This book is not designed for any clinical or prescriptive pharmaceutical application. Obviously, there are numerous other similar books, and since this book illustrates only 21 ancient remedies, it is difficult to compare with other similar reference works.