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March 21, 1959


JAMA. 1959;169(12):1338. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000290064012

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UNLESS DISPENSED in original containers which have undetachable labels, most prescription labels bear only the name and address of the pharmacy, its prescription file number, the names of the patient and physician, and the latter's directions for use. The absence of any display of the name of the prescribed drug or drugs appears to be a matter of custom although intentional secrecy has been largely superseded by the use of English for writing prescriptions. Indeed, physicians frequently tell patients the name and nature of prescribed drugs unless there is a particular reason for withholding this information. Mutual confidence between physician and patient is likely to be enhanced by the plain designation of the principal ingredient(s) on the prescription label. The directions for administration are often too complex and varied to be encompassed on a small label; in some cases the warning to take only as directed may be the most

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