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Remaking the American PatientHow Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers$
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Nancy Tomes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622774

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622774.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Farewell to the Free Trade in Doctoring

Farewell to the Free Trade in Doctoring

(p.19) One Farewell to the Free Trade in Doctoring
Remaking the American Patient

Nancy Tomes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the end of “free trade” in doctoring in the late 1800s and the rise of modern consumer capitalism in the nineteenth century that transformed patients into consumers. It first provides a background on how the free trade in doctoring operated and how it began to be curtailed in the late 1800s. It then looks at the 1906 passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act that allowed the federal government to get involved in consumer protection. It also explores institutional reforms implemented gradually after the American Civil War that laid the foundation for a much more confident medical professionalism; the emergence of the so-called “pioneers of novelties” that manufacture proprietary drugs; and how medicine figured in the postwar consumption economy. Finally, it reflects on how developments such as the new health dangers posed by prosperity and the increasingly rich variety of information and advertising surrounding every aspect of health fueled the growing expectation that ordinary Americans become more skilled at making medical choices.

Keywords:   free trade in doctoring, consumer capitalism, patients, Pure Food and Drugs Act, consumer protection, proprietary drugs, pioneers of novelties, consumption economy, advertising, medical choices

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