Sound Prescribing

The act of prescribing drugs is so integral a part of the physician's daily activity that its significance is sometimes overlooked; until, that is, front-page, ethically charged news stories announce deaths due to medication errors and undue influence on prescribing habits from industry and direct-to-consumer advertising. The June 2006 issue examines ethical dilemmas involved in reaching the goal of “sound prescribing.” The clinical cases zero in on patient requests for unneeded antibiotics, gifts to medical students and physicians from pharmaceutical companies and the practice of prescribing placebos. The medical education section examines e-prescribing, and the two op-eds defend opposing views of commercial support for CME. The (in)famous case of Neurontin's off-label marketing is the topic of the health law case. Additional articles look at FDA postmarketing surveillance, patient responsibilities in a world of direct-to-consumer advertising and whether the government should use its eminent domain privilege to purchase patents when the health of the public demands greater supplies of a vaccine than the patent-owner company can make available. 

Volume 8, Number 6: 357-436 Full Issue PDF