Added: (Thu Nov 08 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - NEW UK MEDICINES COMPENDIUM

Hard-copy and CD-ROM versions
meet demand from healthcare professionals

The newly published Medicines Compendium Book replaces the old ABPI Compendium. The information is also available on a quarterly updated CD-ROM. The decision to publish a new edition of the book was taken in response to demand from doctors, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies.

The Medicines Compendium is the most authoritative published reference for medicines information in the UK — providing references to thousands of medicines supplied by hundreds of companies, and containing Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPCs) for UK prescription-only and OTC licensed medicines.

The book-format Compendium is compiled from the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC). The eMC is a continuously updated database of medicines information available free of charge on the Internet, and is also offered free of charge to practice management system vendors. It is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from the pharmaceutical industry.

This will be the first time that UK doctors and pharmacists have had to pay for the Book — although the continuously updated web site is, and will remain, a free resource to everybody.

“In today’s environment,” says Steve Mott, Director of the Compendium’s publishers, Datapharm, “the need to deliver up-to-date information in many formats and on different platforms is a fact of life. We are making every effort to ensure that this information is freely available across a number of electronic platforms including prescribing systems. However, we realise that many people still want the option of a printed version — hence the Medicines Compendium Book”.

The book will be sold through the Pharmaceutical Press and the Virtual Health Network at a price of £55 for UK-registered doctors and pharmacists (discounted from the list price of £95 for the UK and £110 for overseas). The Book has been heavily discounted for UK-registered doctors working within the NHS, and NHS and community pharmacists.

The Medicines Compendium is also available for the first time on a quarterly updated CD-ROM and can be installed on a PC, network or intranet. The CD-ROM is priced at £195, including updates capturing SPC changes.

Arranged alphabetically by product name, the Medicines Compendium carries a wide range of information including indications, contra-indications, adverse drug reactions and dosage (including use during pregnancy).

There are an estimated 12,000 alterations to SPCs every year. The Medicines Compendium contains the latest version of this information and contains more content than previous editions². The last Compendium, which was published in 1999, is now out of date and should be replaced.

This information is regulated by government licensing authorities including the Medicines Control Agency (MCA).

For the first time the book has been produced electronically, with over 300 users from 100-plus pharmaceutical companies submitting their information directly to the eMC. This has reduced the time taken to produce the book from 9 to 2 months — making it the most up-to-date Compendium ever produced.

The Medicines Compendium is published by Datapharm Communications Ltd, supported by the ABPI. The book is produced and distributed by a partnership of Virtual Health Network (VHN) and the Pharmaceutical Press.

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