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October 31, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(18):1490-1491. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410180014001d

We are to-day balanced between polypharmacy and multitherapy on the one hand and therapeutic nihilism on the other hand. The intricate problem before us is to extricate ourselves from this dilemma.

Analysis of the three fundamental scientific principles on which the practice of therapeutics is based, namely, the securing of elimination, the maintenance of the balance of equilibrium, and the sustaining of vitality, shows that no specific therapy per se can cover all three of those principles.

Therapeutic agents are only means by which we may be able to obtain definite physiologic results. The multipharmacy of to-day is the offspring of the spirit of commercialism incarnated in the person of the "new quack." The "old quack," who formerly occupied a position in the medical profession, was an objectionable personage, yet he filled in vacant spaces and was considered a necessary evil. But the profession, on becoming better organized, saw proper

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