patent medicine

noun

Definition of patent medicine

: a nonprescription medicinal preparation that is typically protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed also : any drug that is a proprietary

Note: Patent medicine is often used to refer to a product (such as an elixir, tonic, or liniment) that was marketed as a medicine in the U.S. during the 1800s and early 1900s but was typically of unproven effectiveness and questionable safety.

Examples of patent medicine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Naturally this unit can be tuned still further for racing purposes by such patent medicines as Dr. Shelby's Cobra Elixir (or imitations available from your local Performance Drugstore). Car and Driver, "Tested: 1964-1/2 Ford Mustang," 17 Apr. 2020 Shkreli became internationally famous in 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of an off-patent medicine by more than 5,000%. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Martin Shkreli is trying to use the coronavirus pandemic to get out of prison," 6 Apr. 2020 Fast forward to 2019 and the echoes of patent medicine in today’s marketplace are resounding, complete with claims of panacea treatment and the co-opting of real science. Lloyd Minor, Fortune, "Why Google’s Crackdown on Fake Medicine Is So Important," 9 Sep. 2019 With the patent medicine business in its prime, elixirs and liniments promised relief from every complaint under the sun. Lloyd Minor, Fortune, "Why Google’s Crackdown on Fake Medicine Is So Important," 9 Sep. 2019 In a deal that creates a behemoth in the market for everyday drugs, Pfizer agreed to merge its off-patent medicines business with Mylan, a generics drugmaker. The Economist, "Business this week," 3 Aug. 2019 Starting in 1908, according to the Back Bay Houses website, Aroline Pinkham Gove, a prominent Salem resident and heiress to a lucrative patent medicine business launched by her mother, began assembling the property. Tim Logan, BostonGlobe.com, "A parking lot in Boston sells for $40 million. Yes, $40 million.," 3 July 2019 This solution certainly beats going to the IMF, which will offer its patent medicine of fiscal contraction, and perhaps capital controls. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Lifeline for Turkey," 12 Aug. 2018 Perfume labels, posters advertising circuses, patent medicines, 5-cent cigars, and all manner of things — even ear tags for goats. Carl Nolte, SFChronicle.com, "At the Box SF, previous eras’ castoffs prove valuable today," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patent medicine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of patent medicine

1770, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of patent medicine was in 1770

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Cite this Entry

“Patent medicine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patent%20medicine. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for patent medicine

patent medicine

noun
pat·​ent medicine | \ ˈpat-ᵊnt-, British usually ˈpāt- \

Medical Definition of patent medicine

: a nonprescription medicinal preparation that is typically protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed also : any drug that is a proprietary

Note: Patent medicine is often used to refer to a product (as an elixir, tonic, or liniment) that was marketed as a medicine in the U.S. during the 1800s and early 1900s but was typically of unproven effectiveness and questionable safety.

patent medicine

noun

Legal Definition of patent medicine

: a packaged nonprescription drug which is protected by a trademark and whose contents are incompletely disclosed also : any drug that is a proprietary

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