Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sources of drug information

My two most used sources for drug information are the British National Formulary and the electronic Medicines Compendium. The BNF is a joint publication of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the British Medical Association and is sent to every pharmacy and GP. It is the first point of call in the UK for drug information. The website is good, but registration (free) is needed for access. The eMC contains both summaries of product characteristics and patient information leaflets. SPCs are a summary of the information provided when a drug is put forward for marketing, and are the basis of the information in the BNF. The problem with eMC is that you can't link to anything which makes it useless for linking to information in blogs like this. It can also be somewhat patchy when it comes to drugs only available as generics.

There are a couple of US sites which seem fairly good from what I've seen, namely drugs.com and Rxlist. The problem with these sites is that drugs are often marketed under different names in different countries (i.e. omeprazole is Losec in the UK and Prilosec in the US), and may also have different licensed doses and indications. Of course, this assumes that a drug available in the UK is also on the market in the US.

My first choice would have to be the eMC, if only you could link to SPCs and PILs on the site.

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