Historians of medicine have tended to be preoccupied primarily with scientific research, the development of therapeutically significant medicines, and ethical business practice. Roy Porter, however, adopted a wider conception. Referring to the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, he redefined the role of “the vile race of quacks” (so described by their own contemporaries) as a manifestation of a burgeoning medical entrepreneurship in an emerging consumer society. He maintained that “Irregular medicine … mobilised the growth of medicine as business”, an aspect of medical history which he believed to have been largely ignored hitherto and one which requires of historians an understanding of the market for pharmaceuticals. Anne Digby has examined the market for medical services during the nineteenth century in an analysis of interactions between doctors and patients at a time when self-dosing was prevalent. However, interactions between medical practitioners and suppliers of medicines in Britain for most of this period remain largely unexplored (with the significant exception of the work by Jonathan Liebenau) and as a result, it will be argued, have been misunderstood.