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Pharmacy Resources

Basic list of resources available to students and faculty at Pacific University


This guide provides background information about selected drug information sources both print and online that can be used to answer specific questions about prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, herbal medicines and more. Some of the topics covered include what is drug information, how to find drug information, what are the different types of drug sources, and what are the different types of drug questions.


What is Drug Information?

Sometimes referred to as drug information, medication information, or drug informatics, it is really the discovery, use, and management of information in the use of medications. Drug information covers a gamut of questions from identification, cost, and pharmacokinetics to dosage and adverse effects. You may also require knowledge of the physical body, health, and/or disease in order to better utilize drug information.

Drug information sources have been traditionally classified in three different categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. For a more complete discussion of these categories, please refer to the following book chapter:

Shields KM, Park SK. Drug Information Resources. In: Malone PM, Malone MJ, Park SK. eds. Drug Information: A Guide for Pharmacists 6e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2018.

Primary sources consists of clinical research studies and reports, both published and unpublished. Not all literature published in a journal is classified as primary literature, for example, review articles or editorials are not primary literature. 
Secondary sources refers to references that either index or abstract the primary literature, with the goal of directing the user to relevant primary literature.  
Tertiary sources provide information that has been summarized and distilled by the author or editor to provide a quick easy summary of a topic. Some examples of tertiary resources include textbooks, compendia, review articles in journals, and other general information, such as may be found on the Internet.   


Top Drug Information Sources