A Short View of the Frauds and Abuses Committed by Apothecaries by Christopher Merrett


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Page 1

----Fingunt se Medicos omnes, Idiota, Sacerdos, Nutrix, &



The Second Edition more correct.

LONDON,
Printed for James Allestry, Printer to the Royal Society, at the Rose
and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1670




A _Short View_ of the _Frauds_ and _Abuses_ committed by
_Apothecaries_, as well in Relation to _Patients_, as _Physicians_;
and of the only remedy thereof by _Physicians_ making their own
Medicines.


Doubtless it will seem strange to most men, that after 30 years not
unsuccessful practice in this great City, I should now at last forbear
sending my Bills to the Apothecaries, knowing that hereby a whole
Company of men interested in the World (who by their number, noise,
and tricks, may be able to decry any Physician) will become my
implacable adversaries, and by their private whispers of untrue tales,
will endeavour to their utmost, either to keep me from any new, or
shuffle me out of my fixed imployment. But not fearing the utmost
their malice can invent, or proclaim; I shall publickly assert what I
privately practice, preferring the publick good, and the honour of my
profession before my own private profit. And although I have had some
experience what their groundless anger can do, when they some years
since proclaimed me in their publick Hall their Enemy, for acting the
College Interest, and of late for saving my Patients lives and purses,
by dispencing gratis my Medicines. Yet I hope no indifferent person,
when he knows that I have thus long slighted their weak endeavours,
will believe I can now at length have so poor an end as revenge;
especially when they shall consider on the one hand, the universal and
daily complaints of both Patient and Physician, the great cause they
have to do so, and the little hope of a remedy, and on the other,
besides that general obligation all men have of doing their
Country-men good, and the particular necessity I have of justifying my
actions, by leaving the World their judg upon the account I shall here
deliver of them. And lastly, that which will leave my Enemies not any
objection, I take upon me not only a great trouble, but charge,
without any other design then doing mankind good, by endeavouring to
restore my profession to its ancient and deserved honours. And had I
none of these inducements, I am sure the vulgar excuse of friends
importunities may be satisfactory to all persons for my publishing
what I here do, when I must acknowledge that many of my Collegues and
other Practisers in several parts, upon reading these papers furnished
me not only with some bad practices of their own experience, but
thereupon enjoyed the publishing of them. So that in these papers I do
but speak the common language of all Physicians, and of very many
Patients. Neither are all their frauds and abuses here inserted, the
rest (perhaps more in number) being reserved to another opportunity. I
shall only add by way of preface; that the last year a Book was
printed on the same argument, by an inquisitive person, now Dr. in
Physic, which might have spared me this labour, but that it was too
large for every ones reading, and in some things short. It was his
fate to be called by them Fool, Ass, and Simple Fellow, and much worse
language, bragging that some of their Boys should answer him. But upon
more serious thoughts, the whole Company have suffered it to find the
credit it well deserves, without the least reply but that of
revilings.

In these ensuing papers, I hope to prove, that these abuses complain'd
of by all sorts of persons, arise from this only cause, that
Physicians dispence not themselves such Medicines, they use for the
relief of their Patients, but commit this work to the Apothecaries, or
rather their Servants.

Now the Apothecaries abuses generally relate either to the Medicines,
Patients, or Physicians; which three do comprehend all I shall say on
this subject.

But the Reader is to take notice, that all here charged on the
Apothecaries, is not meant of every single one, but of some, or more
of them, and may in a short time in all probability be verified of
them all, according as their number, cajoling the ignorant, and bold
daring in Physic increase.

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