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"Without pharmacologic knowledge, the application of remedies must ever be attended with the greatest uncertainty." As a pure science, pharmacology has taken rapid strides during the past few years; but to the physician, by elucidating the manner in which the functions of the various organs of the body may be influenced by the therapeutic agents at his disposal, it has given the greatest gain. Empiricism is disappearing, and ultimately we shall realize the hope of the centuries and medicine may justly claim a position among the exact sciences.
It is not my purpose to show what pharmacology has done in the past, but to call attention to some of the ways in which the science may be of still further service in the future. A physician may be ever so well versed in therapeutics, but if his prescriptions are filled with inert drugs, or drugs varying in strength, his efforts
HOUGHTON EM. HOW CAN WE INCREASE THE THERAPEUTIC RELIABILITY OF MEDICINAL AGENTS?. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(14):634–636. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440140010002d