Article ID: CBB758085819

“Good Enough for America”: Adulterated Drugs and the 1848 Drug Import Act (2018)


In the mid-nineteenth century, the term “good enough for America” was used to identify adulterated medicines destined for the American market.3 Adulterated and counterfeit drugs were pouring into the United States. Providing poor medicines was a growing business and the market was growing with the rapid expansion of the country itself. There seemed to be little that could be done to slow or stop it. The sophistication of the adulterations was superior to available tests, standards were lacking, and there were few trained pharmacists or physicians who could apply them. There were no laws that would prohibit the importation of these products nor limit their sale once ashore. This was the situation in the late 1840s when a small group of New York pharmacists took it upon themselves to convince other health professionals and legislators that there was a problem; they devised a solution that would establish patient safety as the core value of the emerging profession of pharmacy.

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Authors & Contributors
Giuseppina Pagani
Micucci, Federica E.
Demichelis, Alessandro
Bovone, Giulia
Mackintosh, Alan
Dorner, Zachary
Pharmacy in History
Atti e Memorie, Rivista di Storia della Farmacia
Medicina Historica
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Social History of Medicine
University of Chicago Press
MIT Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Columbia University
Medicine and society
Pharmaceutical industry
Public health
Urdang, George
Jones, Mary Dixon
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
21st century
18th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
United States
Institut Pasteur, Paris

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