Yunting Fu, MLS, Liaison Librarian to the College of Allied Health Sciences
Marlena Barber, MLIS, Collection Services & Metadata Librarian
Laupus Health Sciences Library
East Carolina University
Micromedex Solutions consists of a variety of product suites and packages primarily related to the management of pharmaceutical drugs. The content is kept up to date and reviewed by editors who are practitioners and librarians.
The various product suites and packages are designed primarily to help with patient care. This could include ensuring that a patient obtains a medication from a pharmacist that will not interact with another medication, allowing clinicians or pharmacists to review alternative pharmaceutical treatments for a patient or a drug company or pharmacy to review product pricing data, and clinicians or pharmacists to identify unlabeled medications, among many other potential uses.
Micromedex Solutions offers several customized product packages aimed at hospitals, universities, pharmacies, and more. This review focuses on the Micromedex Core Academic Package. As of the date of this review, this package may be acquired for $1,995 by an institution. This particular package is designed for pharmacy students and healthcare professionals to learn how to use the modules in preparation for work in a clinical environment. Additional tools can be added to the Core Academic Package. For the trial, these prices were included:
|REDBOOK Online Only||$350|
|KINETIDEX System CD||$350|
The intended audience for the Core Academic Package is pharmacy school students, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical companies. Poison control centers and clinicians also would benefit from the tools this package provides.
In the demo version of the Core Academic Package, the following tools were reviewed:
- Micromedex CareNotes
- Complete Drug Interactions
- DRUGDEX System
- Drug Identification
- Complete IV Compatibility
- POISINDEX System
- REDBOOK Online
Micromedex has its own search bar which allows users to search for drugs, diseases, or toxicology separately or all of them at the same time.
Product Lookup is one of the practical and useful features. This feature shows up on the detailed summary page after conducting a drug search. Martindale, REDBOOK, and POISINDEX are three places where users can use Product Lookup, while each one covers a different aspect of a product’s information.
- Martindale, from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, provides information on a drug’s brand name, manufacturer, country of origin, active constituents, licensed uses, and global trade names. It has summaries for proprietary products from 40 countries.
- REDBOOK Online is one of the unique components of Micromedex. It allows users to search for medications or medical devices by product name or manufacturer. It includes information such as pricing, regulatory status, specific codes (such as NDC, UPC, or HRI), and other functions, as well. The most unique feature is that it provides the average wholesale package/unit price (AWP) for all medications. Users are able to identify the price effective date along with the percentage change by reviewing the historical costs.
- POISINDEX includes information on active ingredients and excipients. This feature provides information on common exposures and uncommon and more complex situations. This tool would be particularly useful for poison center staff.
- The Complete Drug Interactions tool can be used to uncover reactions when a drug is taken with other drugs, supplements, food, ethanol, tobacco, during pregnancy, or while lactating. It can also reveal potential inaccuracies with laboratory test results. The information is easy and clear to understand. Within each category, the contraindications or the most severe level of reactions are listed at the top, down to the minimal adverse effects. This helps ensure that the most dangerous interactions will not be missed.
- Although many pharmacy databases have a drug interactions feature, this tool in Micromedex is built for easier reading. When two drugs are compared, they are presented on the same page side by side. What’s more, the information under the same category (e.g. dosing and indications, contraindications, adverse effects, pharmacokinetics, etc.) are compared and listed on the same eye level so there is no need to scroll up or down or to page back and forth when comparing the drugs. This is a convenient feature for the comparison of multiple drugs.
One feature we would be interested in seeing added is an option to review the pronunciation for each generic drug name. For new students or general healthcare professionals who are not familiar with all the names, this would be very helpful.
The version of Micromedex that we trialed would be a great resource for libraries that serve faculty, staff, and students in universities with pharmacy or allied health schools. The Academic Core Package provides an environment where users can effectively locate comprehensive and high-quality pharmaceutical information. Pharmacy students, in particular, would benefit from this comprehensive and easy-to-use resource.