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October 8, 1973

Antisubstitution Laws

JAMA. 1973;226(2):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230020046029

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Duhme fails to differentiate between dispensing an acceptable drug preparation, an act a pharmacist is well suited to perform, and determining a course of therapy, a procedure requiring firsthand knowledge of the patient. When a physician does not specify the exact medication to be dispensed, he may be surrendering part of his responsibility to the possible detriment of his patient. Admittedly, it is often of little consequence if a different brand of drug is dispensed than the one the physician had in mind, provided several brands of good quality exist. Under these circumstances, the pharmacist can be given complete control in choosing a suitable preparation by the physician's simple expediency of writing a generic prescription. I do not believe that physicians are not familiar with the generic names of preparations that are widely used in everyday medical practice. Names such as meprobamate, propoxyphene, ampicillin, or tetracycline,