Drugs: Pill Consumers' Report

Why pay more for a brand-name drug when the identical compound can be bought more cheaply under its chemical name? The question is naturally tantalizing; it is also current because of hearings before the Senate Monopoly Subcommittee last week and a new book, The Handbook of Prescription Drugs, by Dr. Richard Burack.

A specialist in internal medicine and pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Burack starts from the premise that too many drugs cost too much because they are prescribed and dispensed under brand names, whereas the identical chemicals, meeting the same U.S....

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