The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the editor
Editor, – John Watson's professor of old, ('Letters' Aust Prescr 1999;22:77) used an important dictum about using new and old drugs, but he could not claim originality. I thought it was a paraphrase of a couplet in Polonius's advice to Laertes (Hamlet, by William Shakespeare) and my doctor brother Michael thought it was from Sir William Osler. The latter probably would have invented it if it had not been originally phrased by Pope, in his Essay on Criticism (lines 335-6):
'Be not the first by whom the new are tried
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside'.