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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 28, 2001


Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor

JAMA. 2001;285(8):987. doi:10.1001/jama.285.8.987-JJY10002-2-1

The choice of drugs in the treatment of disease is daily becoming increasingly difficult, not only on account of the large number being constantly exploited, but more especially by reason of uncertainty as to their nature and efficacy. Only one who has been placed in a position requiring a clear-cut decision can realize how great, at times, is the difficulty of forming an opinion as to the medical value and the ethical standing of a large number of preparations on the market at the present day. We fear that often the most advertised remedies—sometimes irrespective of their merits—are those that are most largely used. For these reasons we sincerely join in the hope recently expressed editorially,1 that the near future may see established "a proper censorship, to act as a directing agent, protecting the profession from deception," whose duty it shall be to decide as to the therapeutic value and the ethical character of all, and especially new, drugs and combinations of drugs, as well as a host of allied substances, such as glandular extracts, artificial foods, food-substitutes, and the like, offered to the medical profession. As matters stand, guilty and innocent among manufacturing pharmacists must suffer alike, to the detriment and the disadvantage of the practitioner of medicine.