The development of a drug is an intricate process, involving researchers, manufacturers, clinical investigators, and many others. All of the information obtained about the drug must be brought to the practicing physician, who is the one to prescribe or administer the drug, and it is important that this information be timely and accurate. In the evaluation of new drugs, the practicing physician should do three things. First, he should learn the mechanism by which the drug works, rather than the results somebody says it will produce. By learning the generic name, the physician can understand much about the drug. Second, when asked by a patient to prescribe a drug that is not indicated, the good physician explains rather than prescribes. Last, doctors should read pharmaceutical advertisements critically, and not be hesitant to write to editors of journals as well as drug manufacturers when they question the truth. Only in these ways can the medical profession advise and assist such a dedicated organization as the Food and Drug Administration to properly judge the merits of a drug.
Dowling HF. TWIXT THE CUP AND THE LIP. JAMA. 1957;165(6):657–661. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980240015004
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