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The PDR Is Food and Drug Administation-Approved Labeling

Joseph A. Oddis, ScD
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(5):576-579. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440260144022.
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The criticism of Cohen and Insel1 about the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) is misplaced in that the text of the publication is merely labeling approved by the Food and Drug Administration (ie, the manufacturers' package inserts).2-4 As labeling, the PDR is subject to the limitations placed on manufacturers for promotion of their drugs, and the deficiencies of labeling, the real target for criticism, are naturally also defects of the PDR.

The inadequacies of the PDR have long been recognized by physicians, pharmacists, other health care providers, legislators, regulators, and other users of drug information.5-11 In fact, it was precisely the major deficiency in PDR content that prompted associations such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)12,13 and the American Medical Association7,14 to develop and publish alternative sources of drug information that were objective and regularly updated to reflect ongoing research and clinical experience.



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