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3/11/2003
Press Release

Trusted Drug Information Resource Boosts Patient Safety Efforts

Additions to the comprehensive drug information published in AHFS Drug Information provide pharmacists and other health care professionals with even more resources to ensure safe medication use for their patients.  The 45th edition of this trusted drug information resource includes information on recent drug approvals, a new section on parenteral general anesthetics, expanded treatment of cardiovascular drugs, and recommendations from newly revised therapeutic guidelines.

AHFS DI is the most comprehensive source of unbiased and authoritative drug information available to health professionals.  It has been a highly respected reference used in hospitals since 1959.  The U.S. Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and various health care insurance providers have recognized the authority of the reference as a source of information on the medically accepted uses of drugs. Both the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine have listed AHFS DI as a standard item for inclusion in reference libraries.

Drug monographs in AHFS DI are thoroughly researched by a staff of drug information pharmacists and other professional editorial and analytical staff.  Authors incorporate clinical research findings, therapeutic guidelines, and Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling to draft monographs.  A typical monograph includes information from several hundred references.  The accuracy of the drug information is also enhanced by the expert advice of a panel of more than 500 reviewers, including leading medical scientists, physicians, pharmacists, pharmacologists, and other clinicians. 

The 2003 edition includes 49 new monographs, including medications approved through November 2002.  More than 60 percent of the monographs have been updated to include revised information on uses, cautions, drug interactions, and therapeutic perspectives.  The new edition also includes an expanded subdivision of cardiovascular drugs and a new section on parenteral general anesthetics.  Monographs also reflect the latest recommendations for the use of antihypertensives and hormonal replacement therapy, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for treating diseases associated with biological terrorism (e.g., smallpox), and revised therapeutic guidelines issued by other authoritative groups such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization. 

“ASHP has a longstanding commitment to providing the health care community with comprehensive drug information they can rely on for accuracy,” said Gerald McEvoy, editor of the compendium.  “We believe it is one of the key elements in providing a safe medication-use system.”

The information contained in AHFS DI is also available as an intranet/internet deployable knowledge base (AHFSfirstWeb™) and on multimedia memory cards (AHFS ? for PDAs).  Subscribers to the ASHPaccess™ service can download AHFS DI information from the Web onto a personal digital assistant and customize the data to meet individual practice needs.

Post-publication updates of the information contained in AHFS DI are provided to subscribers via the Internet at www.ahfsdruginformation.com. The site is continually updated to provide the most current developments, updates, recalls, and warnings related to drug therapies. The site also includes a link to ASHP’s online drug shortage resource center, quick access to the FDA’s MedWatch notices, and technical support for AHFS DI software products.

For more information on AHFS Drug Information or any other items in the AHFS product line, call ASHP Customer Service at (301) 657-4383 or visit the Society’s Web site at www.ashp.org.

ASHP is the 30,000-member national professional association that represents pharmacists who practice in hospitals, health maintenance organizations, long-term care facilities, home care, and other components of health care systems. ASHP, which has a long history of medication-error prevention efforts, believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people make the best use of medicines.  Assisting pharmacists in fulfilling this mission is ASHP's primary objective.  The Society has extensive publishing and educational programs designed to help members improve their professional practice, and it is the national accrediting organization for pharmacy residency and pharmacy technician training programs. For more information, visit www.ashp.org or www.safemedication.com.