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March 1965

The Medicine Show

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(3):310. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030312002

The Medicine Show has moved from the covered wagon to the home via newspapers, magazines, and television. The editors of Consumer Reports have noted this move in a book, The Medicine Show.* This book reiterates the uselessness of most patent medicines and documents this uselessness with authoritative references.

The assertion that eye washes are not beneficial and frequently are injurious comes as no surprise to ophthalmologists. The Consumer Reports sagely advises a drop of tap water in each eye, properly placed with a clean eye dropper, as the strongest home collyrium which should be used without medical advice. Throughout the report a diligent effort has been made to note the deleterious ocular effects of all types of home therapy from cosmetics to ultraviolet light.

The duping of the American public with drug store nostrums has grown to immense proportions. Since little legal control of this gigantic operation is provided, an