In a previous paper2 I called attention to the most prevalent names of diseases, ailments, and symptoms found in the advertisements of patent medicines in the newspapers, and to their significance. Since then I have traced the subject through a number of medical journals and I now desire to give a few notes on the subject.
If we take a broad view of the matter we will find no abrupt transition between the advertisements of patent medicines in the newspapers and those of proprietary remedies in the medical journals. Although the extremes are marked, yet they shade off into each other, in fact they overlap. Some newspapers have a higher standard than some so-called medical journals; there is less quackery. Lately we have heard much of medical journals decrying advertisements of patent medicines in the newspapers and yet they make no attempt to purge their own ranks. If we say the public is gullible and is induced to buy worthless patent medicines
HESSLER R. A STUDY OF PROPRIETARY MEDICINE ADVERTISEMENTS. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(25):1982–1986. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500520010001c
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