Very properly, in strict accordance with its etymologic significance, old Dr. Johnson defined nostrum to be "a medicine not yet made public, but remaining in some single hand," but under the present heading I propose to widen out the inquiry of the hour into a more general examination and review of the use in the United States of medicines extrapharmacopeial in their relations, and more or less secret or proprietary in their origin.
Time was when the business of pharmacy partook of the nature of a profession, but more and more is the old apothecary shop becoming a mere distributing store, requiring little more scientific knowledge for its management than does the corner grocery. At one time 80 per cent, of the receipts of the druggist were from preparations made or prescriptions compounded in his own laboratory or shop. In 1890, Mr. M. N. Kline made an inquiry based upon
WOOD HC. NOSTRUMS. JAMA. 1899;XXXII(17):908–911. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450440001002
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