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May 2, 1931

Arznei als Wert: Antrittsvorlesung gehalten zu Heidelberg am 29. November 1930.

JAMA. 1931;96(18):1534. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720440082041

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This little brochure, an inaugural dissertation, reveals that Germany is plagued, probably quite as much as this country is, with unnecessary and undesirable medication, doctor-prescribed as well as self-prescribed. The consumption of medicine, heretofore dispensed free of charge to the people by the krankenkassen, had become so enormous that some step had to be taken to lessen it in order to permit these organizations to survive financially. In consequence, an order was issued requiring the moderate fee of half a mark for each prescription. The effect of this measure was tremendous and resulted in an almost catastrophic diminution in the consumption of medicaments, to about one half. That the price of merely two or three street car rides should cut down the use of medicines to such an extent shows how low a value these patients place on medication, though it may also partly serve as an index of the

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