Drug Reaction Committees in Hospitals

Dale G. Friend, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;181(2):111-113. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050280041005d.
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THE TREMENDOUS DEVELOPMENTS in medicinal and industrial chemistry in the past 2 decades have made available an ever-increasing number of new drug entities and have greatly increased the use of chemicals in daily life. As a consequence, the human organism is being exposed to a host of new substances with chemical and pharmacological properties that are different from any known or experienced previously. Exposure of segments of the population to certain widely used agents has resulted in the appearance of many diverse and previously unrecognized types of reactions. This fact has resulted in the discovery that apparently normal individuals may have an impaired ability to detoxify or metabolize certain chemical agents because of inherent defects in their cellular metabolism. The result of this impairment is the appearance of many more, and far less easily recognized or understood drug reactions.

At the turn of the century, nearly all drug reactions were


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