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Benzodiazepine Prescription Regulations-Reply

Michael Weintraub, MD
JAMA. 1992;268(23):3316-3317. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490230046021.
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In Reply.  —As noted in our article,1 my colleagues and I agree with Dr Sampson that triplicate prescription blanks for benzodiazepines create important practical impediments to appropriate prescribing. Control mechanisms always have positive and negative aspects. Perhaps the self-regulation imposed by the multicopy prescription programs will lead to more thoughtful prescribing and better patient outcomes. The programs may also lead to the prescribing of less effective, more toxic, but uncontrolled alternatives, as our study indicated. Even worse, regulations may lead to failure to prescribe indicated therapy. I do not believe that a complete assessment of the benefit-to-detriment relationship of the triplicate prescription program for benzodiazepines has yet been carried out.Several states have instituted programs in which pharmacists computerize information on the patient receiving and the physician prescribing certain medications. While perhaps avoiding some of the practical problems noted by Sampson, such a system still intrudes on the patient-physician

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