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October 24, 1891

PHARMACOPŒIAL NOMENCLATURE, AND THE LATIN OF PRESCRIPTIONS.Read before the Section of Materia Medica and Pharmacy, at the Forty-second Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, Washington, D. C., May 1, 1891.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1891;XVII(17):616-620. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410950004001a

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The frequent recurrence in current secular literature, and in halls of legislation, of the agitation against the use of Latin in prescribing and designating medicinal substances has developed a need for a strong expression of the well known advantages of the use of the Latin language in nomenclature.

The pharmacist, because of his familiarity with the methods employed by many physicians, and on account of the large number of prescriptions which annually come under his critical observation, has by far the best opportunity for forming an accurate opinion of the relative value of the methods used in writing prescriptions, and the consensus of opinion is vastly in favor of retaining Latin.

By far the larger number of prescriptions which are now compounded in the United States are written in Latin, but occasionally it will be found that a physician has formed the habit of writing in the vernacular.

The general

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