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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: 04 August 2021

The New Corner Store

The New Corner Store

(p.77) Three The New Corner Store
Remaking the American Patient

Nancy Tomes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the emergence of a new kind of drugstore that offered a cheaper, friendlier alternative to the doctor's office. As physicians struggled to justify the high cost of their services, they faced increased pressure to compete with the new “toothpaste temples” appearing on American urban street corners. Entrepreneurs such as Charles Walgreen and Louis Liggett blended modern science and salesmanship into a commercial health culture that was met with scorn by physicians and even professional pharmacists. That hostility reflected the role of these drugstores in preserving and extending the American tradition of self-medication. This chapter first considers the transformation from the old-time pharmacy to the new-style drugstore and how such drugstores achieved their retail dominance. It then discusses the goods and services that the drugstores offered, their investment in advertising and marketing, and their connection to the pharmaceutical industry. It also examines the controversy surrounding the corner drugstore's practice of handing out prescriptions for over-the-counter medications and concludes with an assessment of its relationship with patient-consumers.

Keywords:   drugstores, physicians, pharmacists, self-medication, pharmacy, advertising, pharmaceutical industry, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, patient-consumers

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