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November 15, 1913

The Unscientific Prescribing of Complex Pharmacopeial Mixtures

JAMA. 1913;61(20):1831. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350210071032

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To the Editor:  —Dr. Osborne's criticism and condemnation of certain pharmacopeial mixtures (The Journal, Oct. 4, 1913, p. 1289) will undoubtedly be appreciated by the thoughtful and careful physician. If it is unscientific to prescribe ready-made patented or proprietary remedies when their exact composition is unknown to us, why is it not equally unscientific to use complex official preparations; some of the ingredients of which we generally do not remember? The fact that we usually know the therapeutic use of the preparation as a whole and its dose is not enough to justify our prescribing it. Every dose of medicine which the doctor gives his patient to swallow should have all its ingredients carefully considered and passed on by the prescriber. This can hardly be done with complex ready-made preparations, as the doctor seldom remembers their exact composition.Just the other day, while in a drug-store in my neighborhood, I

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