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After completing this chapter, the reader will be able to

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  • Differentiate between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of information.
  • Identify resources relevant to different pharmacy practice areas.
  • Select appropriate resources for a specific drug information request.
  • Describe the role of Internet and personal digital assistant (PDA)/smartphone resources in the provision of drug information.
  • Evaluate tertiary resources to determine appropriateness of information.
  • Describe appropriate search strategy for use with computerized secondary databases.
  • Recognize alternative resources for provision of drug information.
  • Identify the most appropriate resource to verify a veterinary dose upon receiving a prescription for a companion animal in a community pharmacy setting.
  • Select the best online resource to educate pharmacists on contemporary issues surrounding veterinary compounding.

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  • Image not available. Tertiary sources provide information that has been filtered and summarized by an author or editor to provide a quick easy summary of a topic.
  • Image not available. Community pharmacy settings are a unique environment to practice One Medicine, a blending of veterinary medicine and human medicine for the benefit of public health, and to better serve human and animal patients alike.
  • Image not available. Comprehensive searches for information will require the use of multiple databases and resources.
  • Image not available. Primary literature may be a variety of types of articles, not just clinical trials.
  • Image not available. At times even well-designed searches of standard medical literature will not yield sufficient information to make clinical decisions or recommendations, and alternative resources may be needed.
  • Image not available. Understanding where to access information is only the first step in the provision of quality drug information.

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The quantity of medical information and medical literature available is growing at an astounding rate. The technology by which this information can be accessed is also improving exponentially. The introduction of PDAs/smartphones and Internet resources has radically changed the methods and technology by which information is accessed, but not the process of providing drug information.

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On a daily basis, pharmacists are being asked to provide responses to numerous drug information requests for a variety of people. It is tempting just to select the easiest, most familiar resources to find information; however, by doing that, there is the possibility of missing new resources or limiting the comprehensiveness of the information found. It is for these reasons that the systematic approach discussed in Chapter 2 is helpful in order to streamline the search process.

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Generally the best method to find information includes a stepwise approach moving first through tertiary (e.g., textbooks, full-text databases, review articles), then secondary (e.g., indexing or abstracting service), and finally primary (e.g., clinical studies) literature. The tertiary sources will provide the practitioner with general information needed to familiarize the reader with the topic. This is also an opportunity for the practitioner to gain general information about the disease or drug in question, which will ultimately result in a more structured and productive search.

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If the information obtained in the tertiary resources is not recent or comprehensive enough, a secondary database may be employed ...

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