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Article
May 20, 1905

THE PATENT MEDICINE EVIL.

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(20):1621. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500470049016

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Abstract

Elsewhere in this issue we print a communication from Mr. Bok, editor of the Ladies' Home Journal, which is both an indictment of and an appeal to the medical profession. The criticism is a just one. No one knows better than the physician the wreckage caused by the indiscriminate use of patent medicines, and it naturally follows that the profession should take the lead in the fight against them. And in reality it has done so, —although individually and spasmodically it is true— but with what result? Opposition on the part of newspapers, some of which could not exist if it were not for the patent medicine advertisements, and on the part of the "vested interests" affected. And the main answer to the charges made by physicians was that they were based on selfish motives, that patent medicines cured those who would otherwise go to physicians, and consequently the income

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