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Overview, Challenges and Future Prospects of Drug Information Services in Nepal: A Reflective Commentary

Authors Shrestha S, Khatiwada AP, Gyawali S, Shankar PR, Palaian S

Received 13 November 2019

Accepted for publication 26 February 2020

Published 19 March 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 287—295

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S238262

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Video abstract presented by Asmita Priyadarshini Khatiwada.

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Sunil Shrestha,1,2 Asmita Priyadarshini Khatiwada,2 Sudesh Gyawali,3 P Ravi Shankar,4 Subish Palaian5

1Department of Pharmacy, Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center Pvt. Ltd, Lalitpur, Nepal; 2Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Service Research, Nepal Health Research and Innovation Foundation, Lalitpur, Nepal; 3In-Charge, Drug Information Center, Manipal Teaching Hospital and Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Kaski, Nepal; 4Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Oceania University of Medicine, Apia, Samoa; 5Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Ajman University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence: Asmita Priyadarshini Khatiwada
Department of Pharmaceutical and Health Service Research, Nepal Health Research and Innovation Foundation, Lalitpur, Nepal
Tel +977-9808291951
Email asmita.khatiwada2@gmail.com

Abstract: Drug information center (DIC) or Medicine information services provides impartial, well-referenced, critically evaluated, updated information on various aspects of medications to healthcare professionals and consumers. Medicine information services also contribute to the minimization of medication errors by promoting medication education and supporting pharmaceutical services. The main objective of this reflective commentary is to highlight the recent scenario of medicine information services in Nepal, challenges for DIC, how DICs can be strengthened and future perspectives of DIC. The availability of medicine information in various online drug information sites and numerous applications (apps) have made it easier to assess the information in the country such as Nepal. However, the reliability and validity of such information should be considered before dissemination. DIC plays a crucial role in improving drug safety by aiding clinicians in safer use of medications and promoting adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting in Nepal. Financial support for operating the DIC efficiently is scarce in Nepal resulting in operational problems. The performance of the medicine information services in the country should be evaluated periodically to ensure the good quality of the service. Steps should be taken by the government, private hospitals and regulatory bodies to sustain the already established DIC and to establish additional DICs in the future to provide quality health care service to the community.

Keywords: clinical pharmacologists, drug information, drug information center, evidence-based medicines, hospitals, medicine information services, Nepal, pharmacist, pharmacovigilance, pharmacy practice

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