Drug information services are primarily targeted to guide clinicians in evaluating and solving concrete drug problems at a patient level. The IKP in association with the Devision of Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Tuebingen has a long-standing tradition (since 15 years) in delivering drug information service, which is supported by the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the state Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to counsel clinicians in private practices or hospitals throughout Baden-Württemberg.
The number of indispensable medicines is constantly increasing and an estimated 10,000 randomized studies are published every year. Within the time constraints of regular patient care, it is a great challenge for outpatient doctors to find appropriate answers to questions related to up-to-date drug therapy guidelines. Moreover, questions regarding adverse drug reactions, drug-drug interaction, drug therapy during pregnancy and/or in breast-feeding women can be challenging. Familiarity with and access to relevant databases and reference books cannot be assumed for every clinician, and strategies for efficient literature research have not been part of the training of practicing physicians. With an interdisciplinary team of two pharmacists and three clinical pharmacologists, the IKP in Collaboration with the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Tübingen, Germany (headed by M Schwab), is uniquely equipped to provide up-to-date, tailored drug information. We are using constantly updated databases like IBM-Micromedex®, Lexicomp®, UptoDate® or AiDKlinik® to integrate information on drug-drug interactions and pharmacokinetic and -dynamic features of the drugs in question. Furthermore, we always include a literature search in Pubmed to account for the newest developments. Regarding pharmacogenomics (PGx), information on timing (before start of therapy, during therapy) and the expected clinical impact of PGx-based drug dosing is another important part of the drug information service. The IKP is actively involved in the development of evidence-based drug guidelines as part of national (e.g. Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany/Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften e.V., AWMF) and international organizations (e.g. CPIC). While the scope of the requests to our drug information service at the IKP is wide, recently requests regarding vaccination schedules (including SARS-CoV), new study findings or clarification of contradicting guideline recommendations are increasing. A direct dialog with the physician is always maintained and feedback is sought on the usefulness and applicability of the service to ensure a high quality of the information provided.
Furthermore, our department offers a dedicated pharmacologic counselling to selected Departments at the Robert-Bosch-Hospital (RBK), such as the Department of Oncology and Haematology and the Department of Geriatric Medicine and Rehabilitation. In addition IKP personnel, i.e. Clinical Pharmacologists, Clinical Pharmacist perform regularly a chart-review using the electronic health records of the patients during clinical visits at the RBK, and for instance extract relevant questions and discuss answers during the rounds of the attending physicians.