DEFINITION: A drug information service center is a specialized unit that provides specific information regarding drug utilization to health professionals and public.
They are established mostly in hospitals and other institutes like pharmacy colleges, universities etc.

The services of drug information center are
1) To provide specialized information on pharmacotherapy and meet the needs of physicians.
2) To expand the role of pharmacists in providing drug information service to the hospital and community.
3) To promote effective use of drug information resources by pharmacists and physicians.
4) To promote patient care through rational use of medicines.
5) To evaluate suspected Adverse drug reactions.
6) To evaluate suspected drug interactions.
7) To provide information regarding drug administration techniques and monitoring parameters of efficacy and toxicity.
8) To provide information regarding accurate dosing to pediatric, geriatric and patients with special dosing requirements.
9) To conduct continuing education programs and training all the staff.
10) To help P&T committee in rational selection of formulary. Etc.
The resources required for successful functioning of drug information center are
The number of staff required will depend on the work load, range of activities offered and the hours of services.
A full time clinical pharmacist or a pharmacologist having good communication skills, knowledge about identification, selection and clinical evaluation is mandatory. Additional personnel from medical and non medical are also included. The responsibilities include
1) Planning, establishing and maintaining a viable financial base.
2) Education and training of students and incumbent staff.
3) Strategic development and expansion of services.
4) Collecting, analyzing, managing and documenting all the data.
5) Promoting the services of DIC with assured quality of information.
It should be centrally located and have a good assess such as
1) Adjacent to hospital or within the hospital
2) Medical teaching institution
3) Near to hospital pharmacy/Emergency department.
The work area should be of minimum 25 sq. meter in one or two rooms. Other basic requirements
include basic office equipment like computers with net facility, printer, scanner, fax machine.
Filling cabinet, working chairs and desk with good ventilation is needed.
DIC should have independent and adequate source of income from pharmaceutical industry and
other private organizations for ensuring its stability. Services to enquirers should be provided
free of cost or through a contract arrangement that does not discourage the use of services to
support quality health care team.
In addition to clinical knowledge drug information, practioners need to have
1) Communication skills to receive and comprehend resources.
2) Knowledge of all available drug information resources.
3) Quick literature searching skills & writing skills.
4) Capacity for critical analysis of available literature.
5) Ability to summarize complexes.
DIC’S should provide the quality standard of service which include an assessment of staff and
personnel, regular reviews of calls taken, answers provided to queries, periodic review of
resources, documentation etc.
Direct output is regularly reviewed and analyzed and feedback is sought from enquirers.
Comments from external sources can also be included.
The DIC should always maintain its own library of commonly used resources. The major share of drug information literature comes from primary source of drug information followed by secondary and tertiary information resources.
Additional books, articles, journals, other publications should be available electronically or by print.
1) Primary literature :
This includes the original research papers published in scientific journals, proceedings of seminars, newsletters and patents. They can also include case reports, editorials and letters of editors.
e.g: Drug discovery today, Journal of pharmacy practice, Journal of controlled release. Etc.
2) Secondary literature :
They comprises second hand information including summary of information appearing in primary resources.
e.g: E literature sources.( MEDLARS, SEDBASE, BIOSIS, Micromedex etc)
3) Tertiary literatures :
They provide an overview of the topic in concise and readable forms.
e.g: Encyclopaedias, text books, dictionaries etc.( I.P, B.P, USP, British national formulary, Merk index, Martindale extra pharmacopeia etc.)

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