Medicine: Combination Dangers

Every week U.S. physicians are being bombarded with samples and ads of prefabricated antibiotic combinations—penicillin with novobiocin, neomycin with bacitracin, oleandomycin with tetracycline, and dozens more. In addition, antibiotics are offered in combination with the sulfas or with unrelated items—anti-histamines, hormones, vitamins. Just how good are these package drugs?

Very good indeed, holds one school, led by Henry Welch, a microbiologist with the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Welch and some physicians insist that treatment with combinations is no "oldfashioned 'shotgun' approach, but a calculated, rational method of attacking the problem of...

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