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January 13, 1975

Drug Development, Regulation, and the Practice of Medicine

JAMA. 1975;231(2):137. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240140011009

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To the Editor.—  In his article entitled "Drug Development, Regulation and the Practice of Medicine (229:1457, 1974), Wardell makes the following statement:Some of the most important decisions in drug therapeutics are no longer the prerogative of the medical profession but are now assumed by industry and by regulatory agencies. The medical profession has displayed little interest in these changes and, at least in the United States, has secured no right for itself to exert any influence on them.The thought-provoking words in this statement are "the medical profession." Medical doctors tend to regard their profession as a homogeneous group with the same moral standard, same aims, and same fulfillments. This feeling stems from the common ritual at the time of graduation: The Hippocratic Oath. Contrary to this contention, the medical profession is far from being homogeneous. The dean of a medical school, the editor of a medical journal, and