JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Not infrequently a physician is tempted in the case of a friend or intimate
acquaintance to give a therapeutic hint rather than a formal prescription.
He may name some simple drug that can be taken with benefit. Sometimes the
motive will be no more than the avoidance of prescription rates in the dispensing
of the drug suggested. The longer a physician is in practice the less he is
liable to make this mistake, for mistake it always is and one that may sometimes
be followed by even serious consequences. Probably every physician of considerable
experience has had occasion to regret such occurrences. No matter how apparently
unmistakable word-of-mouth directions are, the non-medical mind can not be
depended on to follow them as intended. People seem to abandon what appears
the plain path of ordinary common sense at times on the presumption that they
are following their physician's directions.
INFORMAL PRESCRIBING AND ITS DANGERS.. JAMA. 2002;287(14):1776. doi:10.1001/jama.287.14.1776