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To the Editor:—
"Demethylchlortetracycline in Clinical Practice" was motivated by our desire to show that streamlined data-processing techniques enable physicians to receive relevant facts about new compounds much more rapidly. An explanatory abstract originally submitted with the paper was not printed. It is reproduced below in order to clarify further the original intention of the authors:Special data-processing methods were devised to facilitate the handling of almost 5,000 case reports on demethylchlortetracycline. The reports were analyzed for therapeutic and bacteriologic effectiveness, incidence of side effects, and comparison with other anti-infective agents. Such very broad clinical investigations in many thousands of patients nicely supplement smaller carefully controlled studies and often yield information not always obtainable from investigations in a few hundred patients. Because subjective diagnoses and estimates of improvement are not enough to establish fact, the ultimate usefulness of a drug cannot be evaluated until many physicians have used it for
Shapiro JL, Phillips FM. Demethylchlortetracycline-Reply. JAMA. 1961;178(6):679. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040450143023