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The relationship between number of prescriptions per office visit and the appropriateness of the prescribed drugs is examined, using data on more than 20,000 prescriptions purchased for a low-income rural population during 1973 and 1974. Criteria for drug appropriateness are based on an AMA evaluation of drugs. The results show that greater numbers of prescriptions per visit are associated with lower percentages of appropriate drugs prescribed and that patients whose prescriptions were written by specialists received a higher percentage of appropriate drugs than did those whose prescriptions were written by general practitioners. It is concluded, in support of other researchers, that a better knowledge of drugs leads to more conservative use of them.