Pamela Herring, MLIS, D-AHIP
Electronic Resources Librarian
Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
This is an update of a review I wrote that was published in the April 2019 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly.
Facts and Comparisons eAnswers1 is an extensive drug information database that contains drug monographs, a drug interaction tool, a drug identification tool, calculators, product availability and information, a drug comparison tool, an IV compatibility tool, drug reports, patient education information on medications and natural products, and a toxicology tool. The company specifically markets this database to pharmacists, but it is also valuable for physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and dentists.2 The content is delivered via an internet browser. There is still no corresponding app.
Facts and Comparisons eAnswers content is updated daily, so it’s impossible to list all the updates since the original review in 2019. It contains the same content sections discussed in the earlier review, but they’ve been moved around and rebranded somewhat. For example, Trissel’s™ 2 Clinical Pharmaceutics Database is now called Trissel’s IV Compatibility and has an updated interface.
The Patient Education section now offers 20 languages for medication leaflets and can be customized with these language options within the drug monograph. (Melanie Smith, Facts & Comparisons Customer Accounts Specialist, email communication, February 1, 2022.)
Features / Functionality
The database’s user interface has been updated and there are fewer links in the horizontal blue navigation bar. The following sections were moved to the More Clinical Tools drop-down menu: calculators, drug comparisons, patient education, formulary monograph service, and drug plans. Interestingly, the drug comparison tool is no longer on the main menu, although it is purported to be a popular, advertised feature.3
Trissel’s IV Compatibility has a new user interface. When the section opens, a quick start guide explains how to use the comparison database. This design is more intuitive and helps the user understand how to get started. The interface also offers a chart view and a list view, whereas only a table appeared before. Clicking on the ratings pops out a side menu with details of the rating and sources.
The Patient Education section was removed from the top horizontal blue navigation bar. There are now Adult Patient Education and Pediatric Patient Education tabs within the drug monographs. Once the tabs are clicked, options pop up on the top right that allow changing the language and customizing a patient note that attaches when the document is printed.
The help features are still good and prominently displayed, but they have not been updated with the new interface changes at the time of this review.
The database displays well on a tablet, but it still does not render well on a mobile phone screen, where the text is too small and does not auto-adjust.
The business model has changed. Facts and Comparisons eAnswers is now sold to institutions in a package and not as an individual product. The bundled package includes Lexicomp, Facts and Comparisons eAnswers, AHFS, and 40 Lexi-Complete mobile app codes. Fees are based on either the total number of staffed beds per site, the number of academic disciplines licensed, or the number of total anticipated authorized users per site. The basic package described above is $130 per type of user based on the subscribing institution/facility, with a minimum beginning price of $4,000. (Melanie Smith, Facts & Comparisons Customer Accounts Specialist, email communication, February 1, 2022.) The pricing seems fair, considering the number of products included in the bundle.
This product still requires a license agreement, and the company offers site-wide licensing. Subscription terms can be one, three, or five years, with the option of paying the fee upfront or by yearly invoices.
Individual pricing for Facts and Comparisons eAnswers was not available in the Wolters Kluwer online store: https://store.wolterskluwercdi.com/CDI.
Users can still access Facts & Comparisons eAnswers via IP authentication or proxy server access. The company also provides username and password access for individual subscriptions.
Usage data reports are emailed monthly or upon request. The reports are still not COUNTER compliant, but they do provide excellent detail about what portions of the database users visit and how often.
Institutions should purchase a subscription if they desire an excellent suite of drug databases and apps. It’s disappointing that subscribers cannot buy the database now outside of a bundle; it is robust enough to be sold alone.
The upgrades to Facts and Comparisons eAnswers demonstrate that the company cares about the product to improve functionality and usability.
1. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. UpToDate, Inc. 2022. Accessed January 25, 2022. http://fco.factsandcomparisons.com/lco/action/home?siteid=5.
2. Wolters Kluwer. Facts & Comparisons® Drug Referential Resource. Published 2022. Accessed January 25, 2022. https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/lexicomp/facts-and-comparisons.
3. Wolters Kluwer. Facts and Comparisons®: Drug Referential Resource. Published 2022. Accessed February 7, 2022. 2022; https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/lexicomp/facts-and-comparisons.