Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7440.652 (Published 11 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:652

Pharmaceutical companies often spend enormous sums to develop thousands of potential names for their products. The companies hope to develop “memorable, positive, and promising” names that are “distinctive enough to avoid confusion and serious medication errors,” the Baltimore Sun reports (1 March 2004). The Food and Drug Administration rejects about 33% of the 200-300 names submitted to it each year.

Do doctors get the information they want when they refer their patients to specialists? An audit of responses from an Australian teaching hospital found that opportunities for improving the quality of information still exist. The areas where most improvements can be made are in prognosis and in specifying contingency plans. Greater enunciation of the reasoning behind requests for more tests and for changes to current management, and more use of problem lists, are other areas for improvement (Internal Medicine Journal 2004;34: 31-7.

Visual impairment in older people in Britain is reasonably common (12.5%, in one community based sample), and the substantial proportion of it that is attributable to refractive error and cataract is remediable. Surgery is one option, but many people, including those with age related macular degeneration, could benefit greatly from referral to low vision services (British Journal of Ophthalmology …

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