WRITER: LENA BAKER
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: Oct. 30, 2001
Drug Information Service Division provides drug therapy information
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Pharmacists and other health care professionals need
reliable, up-to-date drug information in order to provide the best care for
their patients. Much of that information is available through a service division
within the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.
The college's Division of Drug Information Service (DDIS) was established
in 1965. Its basic functions and activities are publishing, drug information
service and instruction. DDIS's mission is to provide drug information systems
and services to Iowa and the world in order to improve health care.
Two main components of the service are the Iowa Drug Information Service
(IDIS) and the Iowa Drug Information Network (IDIN). The IDIS database is
a bibliographic indexing service for 200 English language medical and pharmaceutical
journals. This service focuses specifically on drug therapy and provides a
mechanism to find information quickly and have it readily available.
IDIN is the center for the generation and communication of drug information
to pharmacists and other health care practitioners. Through its educational
and service program, the IDIN supports the drug information role of pharmacists
in providing pharmaceutical care. Community pharmacists across Iowa who take
on a training role for UI senior pharmacy students receive a complimentary
subscription to IDIN. There are also a growing number of community pharmacists
and small hospitals that take advantage of the benefits of an IDIN subscription.
Both IDIS and IDIN services are subscription-based, although IDIS is now
available free on the Web to UI faculty and students.
In addition to IDIS and IDIN, a new resource has been created for those
interested in herbal medicines. HerbaLinks is a free service that evaluates
other Web sites that provide information about herbal medicines and therapies.
"This site directs people to the best information about herbals quickly,"
said Hazel Seaba, director of the Iowa Drug Information Service. HerbaLinks
can be accessed through the DDIS Web site. DDIS takes pride in making information
quickly available to pharmacists with the IDIS database and the IDIN service.
The lag time is much shorter than other bibliographic services. Most medical
and pharmaceutical journal articles are on the IDIS Web site within two months
of publication. "Outreach is very important," Seaba said. "By
the use of IDIS and IDIN, our division is making it easier for pharmacists
to serve their patients."
Ron Herman, director of the IDIN, said that his program was put into action
partly because of placement needs for pharmacy students around the state.
"IDIN provides tools to enhance these learning sites," Herman
said. "Iowa pharmacies and pharmacists receive this drug information
service in turn for supervising students."
Both IDIS and IDIN provide benefits to individual pharmacists, pharmacies,
pharmacy students and professors at the UI and around the world. The IDIS
database is sold all over the world, having served subscribers in over 60
different countries since the mid-1960s. Two-thirds of the subscriptions are
outside of the United States.
"Pharmacists need the ability to have access to information no matter
where they practice," Herman said. "With IDIS, the article is right
"Wherever you are, if you have a computer and the database or access
to the Web, you can retrieve relevant information," Seaba said. "This
is a stand alone resource."
For those interested in these services, DDIS will have an exhibit at the
UI Health Fair on Nov. 7. The fair will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
at the UI Field House.
For more information about the DDIS or for subscription information about
the IDIS or IDIN, go to www.uiowa.edu/~idis.