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To the Editor:—
Dr. Theodore Greiner in his article "Why We Rarely Know About Drugs" (JAMA177:42 [July 8] 1961) essentially restates the basic position of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of clinical pharmacology. Dr. Greiner's statement, "A more sensible attitude would be to distinguish in what way patients and their diseases have a similar response to drugs. Once a common basis is clearly described, it serves as the starting point for developing each individual therapeutic regimen. It is the task of clinical pharmacology to furnish this common basis of drug response in a form immediately available for clinical use," might be from Hahnemann's Organon of Rational Healing published in Leipzig in 1810.Elsewhere, Dr. Greiner speaks of "The reaction against polypharmacy and its shotgun prescriptions... in the early 1800's.... During this cycle empirical observations were neglected..." Hahnemann is, of course, generally credited by medical historians (such as Garrison) to
Stephenson J. The Basic Position of Samuel Hahnemann. JAMA. 1961;178(8):863–864. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040470079020