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May 9, 1966


JAMA. 1966;196(6):589-590. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100190173040

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It has been estimated that more than 75% of prescriptions written today could not have been filled 15 years ago because the drugs had not then been discovered. This so-called drug explosion has been accompanied by an outpouring of biomedical literature that is all but overwhelming. Certain it is that the practicing physician cannot possibly digest all the published clinical and pharmacological studies on each newly marketed drug, no matter how diligently he may try. Nevertheless, he owes it to his patients and to himself to know more than just a little about the drugs he prescribes. The purpose of the American Medical Association's Council on Drugs is to bridge the gap by reviewing and evaluating all the available research data in order to furnish the practitioner with a reliable opinion as to the value of each new therapeutic agent.

As Bishop points out in this issue (p 496), the

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