University of Leicester
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Provision and use of drug information.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 09:09 authored by Patricia Lavonne. Hibberd
There are numerous sources of information about drugs, but this does not necessarily mean that the information supplied by any particular source is adequate for the needs of the prescribing doctor. The government, the pharmaceutical industry, members of the health care professions and private business concerns have attempted to provide comprehensive information on drugs. The ways in which the government has both provided and influenced the provision of drug information are described. A survey was carried out to establish which sources of information are used by hospital doctors for prescribing and for learning about new drugs. The majority of hospital doctors use reports of clinical trials published in medical journals to learn about new drugs. A study of the information contained in a sample of trial reports appearing in several major medical journals is reported. Many doctors indicated that promotional material was an important source of information, particularly for learning about the existence of a new drug. Several studies of the information provided by the various forms of pharmaceutical promotion have been made, and these are critically reviewed. Finally, since the majority of hospital doctors had written to a pharmaceutical firm for further information about a drug, at some stage in their medical career, a survey was carried out to discover how medical information staff in the pharmaceutical industry provide information about drugs to the medical profession. There appears to be a need for a regularly updated manual providing the information that doctors require in a concise format, backed up by a drug information service which could answer more detailed questions.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Health Sciences

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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