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October 24, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(17):1429-1430. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540170045007

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Although the United States Pharmacopeia is almost unknown outside of the medical and pharmaceutical professions, in reality it occupies a place in our civilization not unlike the common law: its influence extends to every man, woman and child in the United States who uses medicine. For not only is it the legal standard to which the drugs of the physicians' prescriptions must conform, but it is the standard by which practically all important drugs are bought and sold. Severe penalties are provided for any person who applies a pharmacopeial name to an article which does not conform to the tests laid down in this work.

The standing of the medical profession is also much more closely connected with the Pharmacopeia than many of its members realize. For were all drugs that are really useful in the treatment of disease included in the U. S. Pharmacopeia or National Formulary the "proprietary-medicine

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