However, there is a need to collect and supply correct information regarding drugs available in the market to the users in the hospital.
Many of the formulations available in the country contain banned drugs, hazardous drugs, irrational drugs or their combinations. One of the important functions of the pharmacy and the chief pharmacist is to assist in efficient prescribing by advising upon the nature and properties of medicaments. The provision of a technical pharmaceutical information service is an important function of a pharmacy service and serves inter alia, as a means of keeping medical, pharmacy and nursing staff up-to-date with continuous change and developments on matters concerning drugs, e.g.
dosage, formulation, method of administration, alternative preparations, possible side effects, compatibility, etc. A good library with the latest books and journals on the subject forms the nucleus of such a service. Scientific literature on pharmaceuticals contains information on recently introduced drugs in respect of their pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and bioavailability. Information regarding the nature of a drug, indications and contraindications, dosages schedule, side effects, routes of administration, special precautions and similar connected information is collected, analysed and appropriately filed by the chief pharmacist for retrieval and study when needed by anyone. Information on incompatibility, drug interactions, cautions to be observed in renal, hepatic and other impairment and in pregnant, children and elderly patients must be available. Summary of all important matters regarding pharmaceuticals should be intimated to all concerned through a pharmacy bulletin.
Errors in medication are detrimental to patient care and an economic loss. The centre has a responsibility to document and evaluate all related factors in such instances so as to take active preventive measures. Every adverse reaction to any drug should be investigated by a suitably composed committee. The issue and use of the concerned drug should be suspended forthwith, and the stocks of the drug should be withdrawn from wards/ departments, and the batch number and other particulars must be reported to the manufacturer and the drug controller in writing. The responsibility to organise such a centre is best assigned to the chief pharmacists, under guidance of the drugs and therapeutics committee but under the direct control of the medical superintendent or hospital administrator. With the need to keep abreast of continuing developments in the pharmaceutical field, it is sound management practice to encourage pharmacists in advancing their professional knowledge.