Ever since the publication of the first edition of this book in 1996,
there has been an increasing realization of the importance of information.
Much of this can be related to the increased availability of Internet
information sources throughout society, along with the ever increasing ease
by which material can be located and used. This increased emphasis on
information has had an effect on both the healthcare professional, who uses
the material, and the patient, who may look up material directly and even
bring it in to talk about with a pharmacist or physician. The ability to
obtain, manage, evaluate and use information has become an important core
skill for the professional.
It is to provide
training in information management that this book was originally written. In
this fourth edition, the goal of this book continues to be to educate both
students and practitioners on how to efficiently research, interpret,
evaluate, collate, and disseminate information in the most usable form.
While there is no one right method to do perform these professional
responsibilities, proven methods are presented and demonstrated. Also,
seldom-addressed issues are covered, such as the legal and ethical
considerations of providing information. In addition, besides normal
updating of topics, many new topics and features have been added.
New to This Edition:
• A series of Key Concepts have been placed at the beginning of each
chapter, which are then identified throughout the chapter.
main areas outlined in the Learning Objectives have now been highlighted
throughout the chapter.
• Most chapters have Case Studies, in
which a situation that might be faced by a practitioner is described, with a
series of discussion points presented.
• In each chapter, a set of
multiple-choice Self-Assessment Questions are presented and many chapters
provide Suggested Readings for further information on topics.
The drug literature evaluation chapters have been updated and expanded to
cover newer concepts such as adaptive clinical trials.
chapter on statistics has been completely rewritten and greatly expanded to
provide further information that allows the reader to determine whether
appropriate statistical tests were conducted to evaluate data derived from
• The chapter that previously covered both
adverse drug reactions and medication errors has been divided into two
separate chapters, with an expansion of patient safety information.
• At the end of the book, five new chapters have been added. Drug
information specialists are commonly involved in all of these new areas, as
are many practicing pharmacists.
• The first new
chapter is on policy development, project design, and implementation. This
chapter expands on the policy and procedure information in the chapter on
professional writing and explores new areas.
Following this chapter, there are two new chapters that address the need for
the ambulatory pharmacist to provide information; this topic expands to
areas other than institutional practice, which tended to be the focus in
previous editions. One chapter covers pharmacist practice needs in the area
of drug information and the other chapter discusses dealing with patients
and their information needs.
• Following these
chapters, there is a new chapter on what is necessary for training
individuals in drug information.
• Finally, in a continued effort
to expand information into newer areas, there is a chapter on drug
information in both the pharmaceutical manufacturers' realm and
regulatory affairs (i.e., United States Food and Drug Administration). Drug
information practitioners in those two areas address similar topics, but
from different viewpoints. This chapter provides information on both
With the veritable flood of drug,
medical or pharmacy information available, much of which is complex,
pharmacists have an increasing need for information management skills. This
book will assist pharmacists or students in skills improvement in drug
information and allow individuals to evolve into new roles for the
advancement of the profession of pharmacy and patient care. We hope that you
enjoy your journey toward expertise in information management.