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~ A report of a select committee of the House of Commons contains drastic proposals for the regulation of the trade in secret and proprietary remedies and appliances. The report is a voluminous document, containing a mass of evidence-concerning the wealth which has been .derived by some of the proprietaries ' from the sale of their medi oines, and; interesting disclosures regarding the composition of many of tb»> supposed secret remedies, and "euroalls."

Among the conclusions arrived at by the committee was the discovery that there was an increasing sale in Great. Britain .of patent and proprietary remedies and appliances, aud medicator) wines. Many of the proprietaries, tbo committee states, made exaggerated claims of efficiency, which causcd injury by leading sick persons, to delay ltt' seeking medical advice concerning their ailments. Some of the remedy also contained a largo proportion of aloohol in a disguised form. There wew certain medicines sold as cures for diseases which were incurable by medication.. Such so-called remedies were deliberately fraudulent.

After dealing at length with cases or this kind, the committee recommended the establishment of a department to control the sale of patent and proprietary medicines, and' to establish a register of manufacturers and proprietors of 'secret and patent remedies. The committee also recommended that provision should be made for an exact ind complete statement of the ingredients and proportions which patent secret and proprietary remedies contained, nnd the suppression of appliances for the cure of ailments (other than recognised surgical appliances), and the establishment of a court or commission, with power to prohibit, in the public interest, or on the grounds of non-compli-ance with tho law, the sale or advertisement of any patent remedy or appliance, , '

The commission being a judicial authority, would consist of a Magistrate and two assessors. In the case of prohibition proprietors would have the right to appeal to the High Court. The Department would be empowered to require the name and proportion of any poisonous or_ potent ingredient contained in remedies to be exhibited on the label. In the case of medicated wines or other proprietary lines, containing more alcohol than is required for pharmacological purposes, the proportion of alcohol must be stated on the label.

The advertisement and sale of "cures" for the following diseases the committee, r6comlnended should be prohibitedCancer, consumption, lupus, deafness, diabetes, paralysis, fits, epilepsy, locomotor ataxia, Bright's disease; and rupture (without operation and appliances). That the advertisements of remedies likely to be used for improper purposes should be prohibited is also one of the committee's recommendations. It shouldbo a breach of the law, the report statos, for a proprietary to change/ the com-, position of a remedy without notifying the Department,' and also % to enclose with one remedy printed matter recommending another, notifying sufferers to correspond with the patentee of the remedy, to'make use of the names of fictitious persons in connection with the remedy, and to make use of fictitious testimonials and recommendations of secret remedies by medical practitioners unless their full .names and qualifications arid addresses are given. A promise to return money if a cure is not effected should, tho : committee thinks, be disallowed. In - conclusion the committee expresses ;the belief that any legislative action on the lines suggested would not inflict injustice to any patent or proprietary medicine or appliance, but would offer the public, sufficient protection against injury and fraud, and that no measures of a smaller scope would secure this result. '

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Bibliographic details

SECRET "CURE-ALLS", Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2428, 6 April 1915

Word Count

SECRET "CURE-ALLS" Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2428, 6 April 1915

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