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May 24, 1952


JAMA. 1952;149(4):371. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930210055017

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The Durham-Humphrey amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act became effective on April 26 of this year. This amendment to the law contains a specific requirement relating to the labeling of drugs that move in interstate commerce as well as provisions that affect prescription practice.

Drugs that cannot be used with relative safety in selfmedication must bear the legend "Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription" on their labels. The pharmacist is liable to prosecution if he makes an over-the-counter sale of any such drug to a customer without obtaining a bona fide prescription or oral authorization from a licensed practitioner. Moreover, the pharmacist who refills prescriptions for such drugs without the authorization of the prescribing physician is violating the law. The Durham-Humphrey amendment also provides that prescriptions for drugs that can be sold legally over the counter may be refilled by the pharmacist at his own discretion.

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