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March 4, 1983

The Clinical Pharmacist

JAMA. 1983;249(9):1193. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330330071041

In the early 1960s, pharmacy as a profession had come upon hard times. Pharmacists were being trained excessively to do what they spent most of their time doing, namely, counting tablets and typing labels (typing wasn't even part of the curriculum). Similarly, although problems with drugs were rife through our civilization, pharmacists were not trained fully enough to be particularly helpful in this area. Recognizing these inadequacies, groups of forward-thinking educators, especially at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of the Pacific at Stockton, Calif, and the University of Southern California, had the notion that such things as the counting of tablets and typing of labels could be done by pharmacy technicians. Also, they reasoned that the large gaps that existed between ideal use of drugs and what was actually happening might be filled in part by the creation of a new breed of professional, the clinical pharmacist.