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May 27, 1974

Trends of Antibiotic Use In the United States

Author Affiliations

New Rochelle, NY

JAMA. 1974;228(9):1098-1099. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230340014013

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To the Editor.—  It was with a feeling of horror that I read the article by Simmons and Stolley and some of the subsequent comments. I hastened to check the date and was only a bit reassured when I saw 1974 and not 1984. Gadzooks, what recommendations! Achtung, colleagues, achtung! In spite of "50,000,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong," Anatole France once stated that if 50,000,000 people spout nonsense, it's still nonsense. So it might be that countless thousands of community physicians are as wrong as a $3 bill about antibiotics, but it is just as possible from where I sit that dozens of ivory-tower investigators may be wrong too.My 40 years of medical school and general practice span the entire era. I am intellectually honest enough to recall the falling morbidity and mortality of scarlet fever before the advent of suitable medication. It is my impression, too, that the