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Article
February 16, 1957

THE COST OF MEDICAMENTS

JAMA. 1957;163(7):550-551. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970420032011

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Abstract

Despite the fact that newer drugs assist the physician in curing a patient's illness much more rapidly, effectively, and without the dangerous side-effects as in the past, both the public and the medical profession still question the relative rise in the cost of treatment by prescription. The rise must be called relative, rather than actual, when one considers the economy resulting from the reduced number of days that therapy is required, the fact that hospitalization is no longer needed in many cases, and the decreased number of visits that must be made by, or to, the family physician for each illness.

The major determination of a drug's price is the previous cost of the research behind the finished product. Whether it be a completely new idea or an improvement on some established drug, much time, personnel, and equipment are required just to prepare the medicament for experimental marketing. After in

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