Thursday, May 22, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
The American Medical Association (AMA) was dictatorially led for the first half of the 20th century by Dr. George H. Simmons and his protégé Dr. Morris Fishbein. Simmons and Fishbein both served as general manager of the organization and as editor of its journal, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
In 1899, Simmons began a 25-year reign as head of the AMA. At that time, it was a weak organization with little money and little respect from the general public. Simmons came up with the idea to transform the AMA into a big business by granting the AMA's "seal of approval" to certain drug companies that placed large and frequent ads in JAMA.
Advertising revenue increased substantially, from $34,000 in 1899 to $150,000 in 1909. Critics of the AMA have called their seal-of-approval program nothing but a form of extortion, since the AMA did no testing of any products.
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