Loeb, Lori. "Doctors and Patent Medicines in Modern Britain: Professionalism and Consumerism." Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, vol. 33, no. 3, 2001, pp. 404-425, JSTOR, doi:10.2307/4053198.
In Britain, in the late nineteenth ceentury professionalism and consummerism collided in a vociferous debate over tge commodification of health. In medical journals, before government panels and through independent publications, doctors condemned "quackery," especially patent medicines- the Victorian appellation for addictive, deangerous, or useless. This professional critique, doctors claimed, was an altruistic defence of patients. Their commercial opponents, patient medicine men (abnd frequently the press), countered that the professional critique was rooted in a pecuniary struggle to achieve monopoly. 404
An emphasis on knowledge, training, education, and organization meant that congnitive exclusiveness became a justification for market monopoly, which suggested to historians to the 1980s an interplay of knowledge and power. Indeed, professionalism seemed to epitomize Foucault's observation "that there is no power without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not pressupose and constitute at the same time power relations."
Doctors, after all, had to run a business. They found themselves negotiating a careful and complicated balance between gentility and financial interests. 407
In their own practices, as well as at an organizational level, many doctors embraced patient medicines, despite professional rhetoric to the contrary. 408.
Medical and professional decisions about patent medicines implicitly involved assessing the effects of consumerism. Born in the eighteenth century and influenced by protoindustialism and romanticism, consumerism had matured in Victorian London. 408
The second stage was marked by a vast increase in the range of goods, the proliferation of retail outlets to sell them, including department stores and multiples, and the advance of modern advertising with its sensational headlines and sensuous illustrations. 408
Loeb, Lori Anne. Consuming Angels : Advertising and Victorian Women. Oxford University Press, 1994.
Recovery from disease in the advertisement becomes the physical analogue to the evangelical expertise of conversion. Swooning women coppapse into the arms of concerned friends. 203 By 1880 patent medicine advertisements could easily make up 25% of all advertisements. There were pills for gout and wafters for biliousness. There were ganvanic belds, magnetic appliances, and electric towels for fatigue; steel pills for feminie ailments; anti-fat pills for weight loss; cod liver oils, soothing syrups, gripe waters and powders for children. The combination of Christian and Romantic images and scientific images of microscopical images was one of the basic lines of advertisement.