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SI Units in Pharmacy-Reply

EDWARD R. POWSNER, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(8):736-737. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140220018005.
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ABSTRACT

In Reply.—Dr Gillett writes that international uniformity and internal consistency are evident advantages of the SI, and he expresses his willingness to learn the new system for the sake of scientific advancement.

Nevertheless, he believes the SI will have drawbacks in pharmacy. New doses will be hard to learn. Although the laboratory report can provide normal ranges in SI, he fears that no such help will be available to write drug orders and prescriptions. Old, well-known mnemonics for drug doses must be discarded. The old dosage units have worked well, but Dr Gillett believes that the new ones would likely cause errors and delays.

Dr Gillett may be correct that physicians will have trouble learning new drug dosages, although I suspect they will have much less trouble than he thinks.

The important issue is not exactly how hard it may be to relearn doses but whether benefits will outweigh

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