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Not all quacks were restricted to such small-time businesses however, and a number, especially in the United States, became enormously wealthy through national and international sales of their products.In 1875, the Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal complained: If Satan has ever succeeded in compressing a greater amount of concentrated mendacity into one set of human bodies above every other description, it is in the advertising quacks.

In the United States, false medicines in this era were often denoted by the slang term snake oil, a reference to sales pitches for the false medicines that claimed exotic ingredients provided the supposed benefits.

For example, Beecham's Pills, which according to the British Medical Association contained in 1909 only aloes, ginger and soap, but claimed to cure 31 medical conditions, were sold until 1998.

British patent medicines lost their dominance in the United States when they were denied access to the Thirteen Colonies markets during the American Revolution, and lost further ground for the same reason during the War of 1812.

Unproven, usually ineffective, and sometimes dangerous medicines and treatments have been peddled throughout human history.

Theatrical performances were sometimes given to enhance the credibility of purported medicines.

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