PHARMACEUTICAL advertising has never had a good name, writes Celia Hall. People in pain are as vulnerable today as they were in the 17th century to the promises held out by the promoters of pills and potions.

At least this potential for exploitation has long been lampooned, as shown by a new exhibition called 'Pills and Profits' about the selling of medicines in history, at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 183 Euston Road, London, until 22 September.

The examples here are Physic (top), a coloured etching by Henry Heath from 1825, and A Medicine Vendor (right), from an etching by Rembrandt.

Wellcome Institute,

071-611 8888

(Photograph omitted)