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January 6, 1975

Standardization of Drug Names

JAMA. 1975;231(1):24-25. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130018010

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To the Editor.—  In a letter to The Journal (229:1722, 1974), Francis J. Hailey, MD, of Eaton Laboratories cleverly compared standardization of names of drugs and vehicles, closing with the question, "Why should the physician be forced to pay the price of a Cadillac if a Rambler will serve the same purpose?" A more pertinent question is; Why should anyone pay a Cadillac price if a Rambler is delivered?Another very practical question is this: Why should a physician who prefers the Eaton product when prescribing levodopa be obliged to remember which of three brand names to use—Levopa, Larodopa, or Dopar? An easy and accurate alternative is simply to include the word Eaton in his prescription.The purchaser of a Cadillac does not confuse it with a Rambler because the differences are obvious. Differences in drug products are not readily apparent; if they exist, they must be documented. Different names