Prescribed: Writing, Filling, Using, and Abusing the Prescription in Modern America

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Overview

America has had a long love affair with the prescription. It is much more than the written "script" or a manufactured medicine, professionally dispensed and taken, and worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year. As an object, it is uniquely illustrative of the complex relations among the producers, providers, and consumers of medicine in modern America.

The tale of the prescription is one of constant struggles over and changes in medical and therapeutic authority. Stakeholders across the biomedical enterprise have alternately upheld and resisted, supported and critiqued, and subverted and transformed the power of the prescription. Who prescribes? What do they prescribe? How do they decide what to prescribe? These questions set a society-wide agenda that changes with the times and profoundly shifts the medical landscape. Examining drugs individually, as classes, and as part of the social geography of health care, contributors to this volume explore the history of prescribing, including over-the-counter contraceptives, the patient’s experience of filling opioid prescriptions, restraints on physician autonomy in prescribing antibiotics, the patient package insert, and other regulatory issues in medicine during postwar America.

The first authoritative look at the history of the prescription itself, Prescribed is a groundbreaking book that subtly explores the politics of therapeutic authority and the relations between knowledge and practice in modern medicine.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Watermark - Scott D. Grimwood
Prescribed provides the reader with a much better understanding of how we have gotten to our current system of managing, and mismanaging, prescription drugs in the United States.
Biz India Magazine - Nano Khilnani
This book provides a good overview of the major problems relating to prescriptions and detailed coverage of particular matters for those who want to investigate them further.
Journal of American History - Gregory Higby
The emerging field of pharmaceutical history is well served by Prescribed, an excellent book that examines postwar American pharmacy and medicine by focusing on the act of prescribing.
Social History of Medicine - Dan Malleck
This collection may do for the history of epistemology of pharmaceuticals and ideas about drugs what Rosenberg and Golden's Framing Disease did for the history and epistemology of disease.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences - Mat Savelli
The volume is an exceptional collection of stories, which not only reveals the history of the prescription in modern America, but also adds a significant layer to our broader knowledge of pharmaceutical and medical history.
Choice
Both the health care professional and the consumer will benefit greatly from this topical book. Prescribed describes how the prescription has progressed from a document written in Latin to an electronic text that is the principal dimension of people's current encounters with physicians, nurse practitioners, and other physician extenders... Highly recommended.
Midwest Book Review
A powerful guide that should be in any basic health collection... A fine pick for medical, science, and computer collections alike.
Watermark
Prescribed provides the reader with a much better understanding of how we have gotten to our current system of managing, and mismanaging, prescription drugs in the United States.

— Scott D. Grimwood

Choice

Both the health care professional and the consumer will benefit greatly from this topical book. Prescribed describes how the prescription has progressed from a document written in Latin to an electronic text that is the principal dimension of people's current encounters with physicians, nurse practitioners, and other physician extenders... Highly recommended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781421405070
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/13/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,405,745
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy A. Greene is associate professor of medicine and the history of medicine and the Elizabeth Treide and A. McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the author of Prescribing by Numbers: Drugs and the Definition of Disease and Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine, both published by Johns Hopkins. Elizabeth Siegel Watkins is a professor, vice chair, and director of graduate studies in the History of Health Sciences Program at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of The Estrogen Elixir: A History of Hormone Replacement Therapy in America and On the Pill: A Social History of Oral Contraceptives, 1950–1970, both also published by Johns Hopkins, and the coeditor of Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations ix

Introduction: The Prescription in Perspective Jeremy A. Greene Elizabeth Siegel Watkins 1

1 Goofball Panic: Barbiturates, "Dangerous" and Addictive Drugs, and the Regulation of Medicine in Postwar America Nicolas Rasmussen 23

2 Pharmacological Restraints: Antibiotic Prescribing and the Limits of Physician Autonomy Scott H. Podolsky 46

3 "Eroding the Physician's Control of Therapy": The Postwar Politics of the Prescription Dominique A. Tobbell 66

4 Deciphering the Prescription: Pharmacists and the Patient Package Insert Elizabeth Siegel Watkins 91

5 The Right to Write: Prescription and Nurse Practitioners Julie A. Fairman 117

6 The Best Prescription for Women's Health: Feminist Approaches to Well-Woman Care Judith A. Houck 134

7 "Safer Than Aspirin": The Campaign for Over-the-Counter Oral Contraceptives and Emergency Contraceptive Pills Heather Munro Prescott 157

8 The Prescription as Stigma: Opioid Pain Relievers and the Long Walk to the Pharmacy Counter Marcia L. Meldrum 184

9 Busted for Blockbusters: "Scrip Mills," Quaalude, and Prescribing Power in the 1970s David Herzberg 207

10 The Afterlife of the Prescription: The Sciences of Therapeutic Surveillance Jeremy A. Greene 232

Time Line of Federal Regulations and Rulings Related to the Prescription 257

Notes 259

List of Contributors 321

Index 323

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