Med.Inter.Rev. 2016, 107, 123-133.

Advertising medicines in the 1800s.


Museum of Pharmacy, Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, Floriańska 25, 31-019 Kraków, Poland.


Pharmaceutical marketing is the fastest growing sector of advertising industry, leading to excessive consumption of over-the-counter drugs. If we look back to the nineteenth century we will see that advertisements accompanied pharmaceutical industry from the start. Drugs were advertised by pharmaceutical companies, yet advertising was mainly the domain of those manufacturing “miraculous remedies” and promising full recovery. Information on medicines was found on calendars, playing cards, colouring books, games, posters and toys. There appeared extensive literature, chiefly in the form of leaflets, booklets and brochures of various kinds, thanks to which the patient could learn how a medicine worked, what diseases it acted against, and most importantly, where it could be bought.

Keywords: pharmaceutical marketing, advertising medicines, history of pharmacy, history of medicine.

Oryginal language: English

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