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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 7, 1999


Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;282(1):10L. doi:10.1001/jama.282.1.10

The revision of the "United States Pharmacopeia," which is to be done next year is a matter of sufficient importance to receive the serious consideration of the profession. The physician is the one who has the greatest interest in the reliability and availability of the products of the pharmacist. They are part of the tools of his trade and on their efficiency his success to a greater or less extent depends. It is a well-known fact that many of the crude drugs that form the basis of the pharmacopeial preparations are far from being as reliable as their proper medical usage demands. When such physiologically powerful drugs, for example, as colchicum, conium, hydrastis, hyoscyamus and others may vary in their content of active principle 200 to 300 per cent. in different samples, as has been amply demonstrated by competent authorities, it would seem that something ought to be done to eliminate these fluctuations of the crude drug from the official preparations. If the latter are not uniform in medical potency, what confidence can be placed in them or in the pharmacopeia, which certainly ought to be a reliable guide for accurate dosage and medication?

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