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Local bodegas and grocery stores in Washington Heights are selling antibiotic medications to their customers without a prescription, according to a report released last week by Dr. Elaine Larson, Dean of the Columbia School of Nursing. Not only can such improper drug use result in side effects and delayed treatment, the report stated, but it also encourages the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. Many of the medications are imported from the Dominican Republic where they are legally sold, Dr. Larson explained. Dr. Larson is now meeting with local merchants and community groups to address the danger of black market drugs, and help improve access to proper health care. [10/11/04]

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