The Rise and Fall of Pilulae

A little searching on EEBO suggests that “pilulae” (and variations such as “pilula” or “pilullae”) enjoyed a heyday of marketing authority for about 20 years in 17th-century England, right around the time people seemed particularly worried about the scurvy epidemic. Although the earliest reference to pilulae in the title appeared in Patrick Anderson’s Grana angelica […]

Press and Pop Culture

A Historical Perspective on DTC Drug Marketing

An article in the NY Times reports on a recent research about Direct-to-Consumer drug marketing. The article draws attention to authority and power of a “survey” in convincing consumers to self-diagnos and to request particular drugs. All this sounds a lot like the techniques used a century ago to market patent medicines. At that time […]