Putting all of a person's medicines into a brown bag and taking them to a doctor or pharmacist for review.
At least once a year, bring all of your child's medicines and supplements with you to the doctor. "Brown bagging" your child's medicines can help you and your doctor talk about them and find out if there are any problems.
Carla K. Johnson, "Parents need to be active in child's health care," Spokesman Review, January 7, 2003
Seniors across Ontario will soon be brown-bagging it, thanks to North York Mayor Mel Lastman.
Jim Rogers, president of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, announced last night that Mel's Brown Bag program will be offered province-wide to interested municipalities, starting in September.
Under the program, seniors bring all their prescription drugs in a brown bag to a meeting where a pharmacist offers advice on the proper use of the drugs. Often drugs are past expiry dates or dosages are too high. Sometimes a senior may have gone to two different doctors and pharmacies and may be taking double doses of a drug in different forms, in both an ointment and a pill, for example.
Bruce DeMara, "Prescription drug advice for seniors soon to be available across Ontario," The Toronto Star, May 27, 1988
The phrase brown bagging has been in the language since about the mid-60s, and it originally referred to carrying a bottle of liquor in a brown paper bag. In the late 60s, a second sense of the verb appeared: to carry one's lunch to work or school in a brown paper bag. The medicinal sense has been around since the late 80s (see the earliest citation, below) when people first started attending brown-bag assessments or brown-bag reviews, where a doctor or pharmacist reviews the person's drugs to look for things like improper dosages, lapsed expiry dates, and drug mismatches.
While researching this phrase, I also came across another sense, although the citation below is the only one I could find:
The term "brown bagging" was coined to describe a variety of scenarios in which 1) an insurance company finds an inexpensive wholesale supplier of oncology drugs, 2) has the supplier ship the drugs to pharmacies near the company's subscribers, and 3) requires its subscribers to pick up the drugs themselves and take them to their oncologist's office in a "brown bag" for infusion.
Many oncologists say brown bagging creates so many quality control and patient care problems it should be completely abandoned. In response, insurance companies have developed several brown bagging strategies that try to address physician concerns, but allow insurance companies to keep their profits.
"The Association of Community Cancer Centers Looks at Brown Bagging of Chemotherapy Drugs," Business Wire, March 19, 2003