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June 3, 1974

Prescription Instructions

JAMA. 1974;228(10):1227. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350017006

To the Editor.—  In reference to the article by Mazzullo et al (227:929, 1974) concerning the variation of interpretations of prescription instructions, there certainly is a need for physicians to be more explicit in their instructions so as to reduce hazardous misunderstandings.Yet, a vital and convenient source to improve patient compliance is the pharmacist. At the time of filling the patient's prescription, the pharmacist can reinforce the instructions of the physician or serve as a primary instructor in those circumstances in which the prescriber gave few or none. Many pharmacists now maintain medication profiles as a further guide for monitoring an individual's drugs for compliance and drug interactions. Favorable results of pharmacists' involvement in drug monitoring have been exemplified by McKenney et al,1 showing that such patients had significantly better control of hypertension.As an example, we mention an existing program currently being used at the Ohio State