Synopsis

Drug therapy involves considerations beyond the strictfy scientific pharmacological aspects of medicines.These include numerous issues relating to preservers themselves and to patients.

• The therapeutic situation

— Iatrogenic disease

— Benefits and risks

— Public view of drugs and preservers

— Criticisms of modern drugs

— Drug-induced injury

— Complementary medicine

• Prescribing, drug consumption and economics

— Reasons for taking a drug history

— Cost-concainment

— Repeat prescriptions

— Warnings and consent

— Legal hazards for prescribers

— Formularies and 'essential' drugs

• Compliance — patient and doctor ■ Placebo medicines

• Pharnnacoeconomics

• Self-medication

Appendix I: WHO list of essential drugs Appendix 2: The prescription

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