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May 13, 1961

The Labeling of Prescriptions

Author Affiliations

Dean, School of Pharmacy Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 19, Virginia

JAMA. 1961;176(6):550. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040190072025

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To the Editor:—  In The Journal (Jan. 14, p. 164) is a letter from Dr. Havener regarding the labeling of prescriptions with the name of the drug. While Dr. Havener seems to be a proponent of this procedure, your readers should not be left with the impression that there are no disadvantages to labeling prescriptions in the manner suggested.The two examples cited as reducing the possibiity of error are equally subject to the argument that the possibility of error is increased. Patients should not be expected to be acquainted with the many similarities in drug names. A patient might think the name of a drug is the same as one previously causing an unfavorable response, with the result that the prescriber is led to another preparation less effective. Dosages are also a factor here, and this information may not be on the prescription label.A program that would encourage

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