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October 7, 1974

Standardization of Drug Names

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Madison, Wis

JAMA. 1974;230(1):34. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240010018006

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To the Editor.—  In regard to the special communication by Frank M. Allan, MD (229:541, 1974), I wish to express my complete agreement with his position. It seems to me that the two responses from the industrial representatives published in the same issue should have included the overriding reasons for their rebuttal. The pharmaceutical industry has a good thing going and doesn't want change if it can be avoided. Most of the education concerning drugs comes from the industry through enormous and expensive promotional programs. It seems to me that the time is well overdue for physicians to regain the initiative they have virtually lost. Let's begin by calling a drug by a single, understandable name. Company identification is a secondary concern. Advertisements can emphasize the virtues of prescribing by using specific company name. However, these ads must contain convincing evidence of better bioavailability and lower cost.