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Health Serv Res. 1977 Spring; 12(1): 3–10.
PMCID: PMC1071953

Multiple prescriptions and drug appropriateness.


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.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Simmons HE, Stolley PD. This is medical progress? Trends and consequences of antibiotic use in the United States. JAMA. 1974 Mar 4;227(9):1023–1028. [PubMed]
  • Hemminki E. The role of prescriptions in therapy. Med Care. 1975 Feb;13(2):150–159. [PubMed]
  • Ingelfinger FJ. Editorial: Counting adverse drug reactions that count. N Engl J Med. 1976 Apr 29;294(18):1003–1004. [PubMed]
  • Ogilvie RI, Ruedy J. Adverse reactions during hospitalization. Can Med Assoc J. 1967 Dec 9;97(24):1445–1450. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kunin CM, Tupasi T, Craig WA. Use of antibiotics. A brief exposition of the problem and some tentative solutions. Ann Intern Med. 1973 Oct;79(4):555–560. [PubMed]
  • Joyce CR, Last JM, Weatherall M. Personal factors as a cause of differences in prescribing by general practitioners. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1968 Jul;22(3):170–177. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Health Services Research are provided here courtesy of Health Research & Educational Trust