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April 18, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(16):1308-1309. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720420032013

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Elsewhere in this issue appears the report of the laboratory of the American Medical Association, supplemented by the reports of two competent bacteriologic investigations, concerning the most widely known and most extensively advertised mouth wash now before the public. By its very name Listerine debases the fame of the great scientific investigator who first established the idea of antisepsis and whose work led to the principle of surgical sterilization and asepsis. The vast income of the Lambert Pharmacal Company from this preparation is testimony to but one thing—that modern advertising pays regardless of the actual merit of the product, regardless of any scientific demonstration of lack of efficiency, regardless indeed of possible harm that may result from unwarranted confidence in any unproved method for the prevention of disease.

The president of the Lambert Pharmacal Company said in Printers' Ink for March 26 that the company earned $115,000 in 1920, spending

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