March 10, 1997

The American Hospital Formulary Service Information Books Beat the PDR

Author Affiliations

Loveland, Colo

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(5):575-576. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440260143020

Bravos for Cohen and Insel!1 They correctly identify major deficiencies in using the Physician's Desk Reference2 (PDR) and make recommendations for improvement. They ask in their article, "Without the PDR or similar equivalent, where would physicians derive drug information and would it be an improvement?" They recommend a number of well-meaning improvements in the way the PDR is put together; however, because of the legal- and consumer-oriented pharmaceutical manufacturers' frame of reference, I doubt that such recommendations will ever be carried out.

What I have done, and recommend that other physicians and institutions do, is to use the American Hospital Formulary Service information books, eg, AHFS Drug Information3). Every year, I get a new book that costs just under $100. Updates are sent to me throughout the year. The books, and the updates, do a great job of discussing actions of pharmaceutical agents, side effects, contraindications, drug

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