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March 4, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(9):673. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560090045018

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It is reported that United States District Attorney Sims has obtained a ruling from the federal courts barring out testimonials as evidence in those cases in which the question of the curative properties of "patent medicines" are before the courts. It is gratifying to learn that the courts have at last taken a stand on this question. Week in and week out, for years past, The Journal has persistently and consistently maintained that testimonials from laymen regarding the curative value of medicine or medical appliances are intrinsically worthless and scientifically valueless. In taking this attitude, it has not been assumed that such testimonials are of necessity fraudulent in their origin. We believe that, at least during the last four or five years, a large proportion of testimonials published by "patent medicine" houses and quacks of various denominations have been genuine as documents; that is to say, a large proportion have

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