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December 23, 1983

Society and Medication: Conflicting Signals for Prescribers and Patients

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester School of Medicine Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1983;250(24):3343. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340240069041

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Ordinarily, the proceedings of a conference that took place more than two years ago turn out to be prose so mortal as to deserve a decent burial rather than public exhibition of the corpse. Such a judgment cannot be leveled at this interesting book because its contents are not only of compelling interest and importance but of the sort that are not quickly outdated.

I confess, however, to a sense of disquiet in communicating an appropriate appreciation of the book's merits, because the smörgasbord that Morgan and Kagan have put together is a remarkably rich and varied one. The book contains data on such topics as the size and nature of the prescription drug market, the prescribing habits of physicians, drug use review schemes, the role of the Food and Drug Administration in encouraging proper drug use, the potential of postmarketing substitution laws, the prescribing and regulation of psychoactive drugs,