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The Great American Fraud: Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quackery Reprinted from Collier's (Classic Reprint)
by:Samuel Hopkins Adams
Reprinted from Collier s, Oct. T, 1905. THE JVOST RXM EVIL INTRODUCTION This is the introductory article to a aeries which will contain a full explanation and exposure of patent-medicine methods, and the harm done to the public by this industry, founded mainly on fraud and poison. Results of the publicity given to these methods can already be seen in the...
Reprinted from Collier s, Oct. T, 1905. THE JVOST RXM EVIL INTRODUCTION This is the introductory article to a aeries which will contain a full explanation and exposure of patent-medicine methods, and the harm done to the public by this industry, founded mainly on fraud and poison. Results of the publicity given to these methods can already be seen in the steps recently taken by the National Government, some State Governments and a few of the more reputable newspapers. The object of the series is to make the situation so familiar and thoroughly understood that there will be a speedy end to the worst aspect of tne evil. Gullible America will spend this year some seventy-five millions of dollars in the purchase of patent medicines,? In consideration of this sum it will swallow huge quantities of alcohol, an appalling amount of opiates and narcotics, a wide assortment of varied drugs ranging from powerful and dangerous heart depressants to insidious liver simulants; and, far in excess of all other ingredients, undiluted fraud. For fraud exploited by the skillfulest of advertising bunco men, is the basis of the trade. Should the newspapers, the magazines and the medical journal refuse their pages to this class of advertisements, the patent medicine business in five years would be as scandalously historic as the South Sea Bubble, and the nation would be richer not only in lives and money, but in drunkards and drugfiends saved. Don tnratke the mistake of lumping all proprietary medicines in one indiscriminate denunciation, came warning from all sides when this series was announced. But the honest attempt to separate the sheep from the goats develops a lamentable lack of qualified candidates for the sheepfold. External remedies there may be which are at once honest in their claims and effective for their purposes; they are not to be found among the much-advertised o(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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