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February 3, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(5):304-305. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460050050021

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When a patent medicine vendor desires to make a specially strong claim for his stuff, he adds to all its other advantages that it has the endorsement of physicians. If by hook or crook a man who can write "M.D." after his name can be cajoled or bribed to sign a testimonial in favor of a patent nostrum, that testimonial will be kept on duty until the paper fades and the ink has lost its blackness. There are various ways in which to get these endorsements, the most business-like being to buy them outright, provided it does not cost too much. But there is another and better scheme than this. It is to get the doctors to use the nostrum for a while; get them to prescribe and endorse it by writing it up in the medical journals and by talking about it in medical societies. To do this takes

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