The proprietary medicine business, until within the past five years, had a most phenomenal growth and one which, considering the viciousness of the traffic, would have been impossible had it not been immensely profitable. The large returns drew to its ranks men without knowledge of medicine, pharmacy or chemistry, men who not only put up preparations for the medical profession to use, but also had the presumption to attempt to teach physicians how to use them—how to treat disease. Reputable manufacturing pharmaceutical houses, finding the demand for official and non-secret drugs falling off, were, one by one, almost forced by economic conditions into the secret proprietary business, until finally there was hardly a pharmaceutical concern that did not have many typical nostrums in its lists of "specialties." The Journal, like other medical journals of that time, accepted advertisements of proprietary medicines which later proved to be fraudulent; there was no
THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION—ITS POLICIES AND ITS WORK: I. THE OPPOSITION AND ITS CAUSES. JAMA. 1910;LIV(10):796–799. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550360044003
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