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March 8, 1995

Use of Brand Names in Place of Generics

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto Medical Foundation Palo Alto, Calif

JAMA. 1995;273(10):776. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520340030027

To the Editor.  —I was surprised to find a medication referred to by its brand name, Tylenol, in the article by Dr Kogan and colleagues.1I thought that in the scientific press drugs were referred to by their generic names only. There are many brands of acetaminophen on the market; we should not be guilty of fostering the product so heavily advertised by McNeil Consumer Products Company.Currently, I serve as the telephone advice person in the Department of Pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. A good deal of my time is spent in dissuading parents from using over-the-counter preparations in the treatment of the common illnesses of infants and children, particularly the use of antipyretics for slight to moderate fevers. When I do recommend same, I always use the word acetaminophen and if the parent asks if I mean Tylenol, I remind them that Tylenol is only

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