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November 11, 1974

Drug Use: Data, Sources, and Limitations

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Administrative and Social Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Ohio State University, Columbus.

JAMA. 1974;230(6):888-890. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240060058039

It is estimated that 2.8 million prescriptions and drug orders representing an economic value of $11 billion were dispensed in the United States in 1973. There are differences in drug use according to various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, and to physician prescribing rates and drug product rankings.

Current sources of drug data are the manufacturer, prescriber, dispenser, and patient. A model information system for prescription services should be designed primarily to support professional decision-making in treating patients. There are certain specific functions for this system, and the health professions should provide leadership that will facilitate its development and operation.

(JAMA 230:888-890, 1974)