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Article
December 18, 1991

A Plea for Prices in Physician Prescribing

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical College New York, NY

Cornell University Medical College New York, NY

JAMA. 1991;266(23):3285. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470230043023
Abstract

To the Editor.  —In medical school, students learn nearly everything about a drug except its price. Since rational prescribing should take costs into account, drug prices should be presented just as side effects are, but satisfactory sources of price information are not available.A new fourth-year course in clinical pharmacology at Cornell University Medical College includes the completion of a personal formulary for 20 commonly prescribed drugs adapted from a program at the University of Extremadura Medical School.1 In addition to the pharmacological effects, cost is requested on these drug information sheets.Carrying out the formulary exercise, we found that all of the information requested in the personal formulary except drug prices was obtained easily using standard references. The medical library's reference section did not contain any obvious source for price information. A hospital pharmacist suggested "the blue book," the American Druggist First Databank Annual Directory of Pharmaceuticals, a

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