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To the Editor:
—There is much food for thought in the editorial from the New York Sun (The Journal A. M. A., Oct. 5, 1912, p. 1307) warning the public against physicians who prescribe proprietaries, blaming these physicians for the all-too-prevalent tendency of the public toward self-medication, and lauding the old-fashioned prescription because it at least cannot easily be duplicated.It is but too true that the prescribing of proprietaries fosters self-drugging. When a patient learns that the medicine prescribed is "ready-made" he shrewdly concludes that it was not made for his ailment in particular, but that it must fit a series of similar conditions. Hence, if it is found of value, he will hereafter use it for all symptoms similar to those which caused his physician to prescribe the proprietary. He also will find little difficulty in finding symptoms in the ailments of his friends which will warrant a
Wescott WC. The Special Package Evil. JAMA. 1913;60(5):387–388. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340050057028
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