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April 8, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(14):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450410035011

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During the past winter bills have been introduced in at least two State legislatures—Michigan and Washington—prohibiting the sale of proprietary or patent medicines without a publication of their composition or formula. It is doubtful whether these bills will pass, if they have not already failed, but the objections offered are perhaps worth noting. In part the influence of the manufacturing firms may have its effect, but the principal opposition comes from the retailers in the rural districts. In the smaller towns, and to some extent in the larger ones, the drug stores depend largely for their receipts upon the sale of proprietary medicines, and country stores also keep them in stock and derive profit from their sale, by a sort of counter prescribing. The local newspapers, which derive a large revenue from advertisements of these preparations, also throw their influence against such legislation, and this is an element that is

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