Message from DIC-Incharge    

Drug Information Services: Ameliorates the Quality of Healthcare

Maharashtra State Pharmacy Council’s Drug Information Center is steadfast to stand out in helping the Healthcare providers be in pace with escalating needs of our profession. The council’s DIC caters to wide strata of people, from Healthcare profession to patients. The contentment that flows in working towards our vision, changing the outlook of pharmacists’ from being product to patient oriented cannot be expressed in words.

The journey started in September 2003, with the belief that ‘Information is the Best Prescription’. Since then DIC has been providing in-depth, unbiased crucial drug information to practicing physicians, pharmacists and patients in India. DIC responds to queries received from Doctors, Pharmacists & patients or consumers through Email, phone or during personal visit, using the Micromedex database & other resources.

However, the concept of DIC has flourished in allied directions. MSPC’s DIC services not only provide drug information, but also identify & address other unmet needs of the Health Care Professionals & patients.

The foremost area is educating the pharmacist & keeping them abreast with latest news. This vital milestone is achieved through Council’s publications viz. Drug Information Bulletin (Quarterly issue). It includes news on latest happenings, new drug approved, query of the quarter, among the other things. Inclusion of a crossword is a new initiative to involve the readers & make them aware about a number of new things by just touching on to it. Our first crossword published in March, 2012 issue has received a good response. Besides this, ready reference books, to keep our knowledge updated, for the purpose of Pharmaceutical care, like Dugs Harmful in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding, Drug Interactions Manual, Drugs to be used with caution in liver & kidney impairment (injury), WHO Model list of Essential Medicines for Children & Guide to Patient Counseling – Manual are also published by the DIC.

MSPC’s DIC focuses on creating an essential place of pharmacist in healthcare system, which is possible only when pharmacists provide professional services to physicians and patients at large and thus prove their active role in patient care. One of the fundamental roles of a licensed pharmacist is patient education, commonly referred to as counseling. Communicating with patients is an important way to avoid medication errors and help them understand the intended effects as well as the side effects of their medicines. MSPC's DIC is involved in training the community pharmacist on various aspects of drug, its usage and patient care through refresher and patient counseling courses.

Moving ahead from education the next area is providing Healthcare professionals with resources that add to the quality of healthcare provided. To be taken care of, DIC has created indigenous CD based interactive software called as Drug Interaction Checker for Prescription (DICP) to detect Drug-Drug Interactions in 2006. Once prescription entry is made, interaction message appears on screen along with the severity level (mild, moderate, Severe) of the interaction, if any. DICP- I comprises of five major drug classes viz. Antihypertensive, antibiotics, antianginal, antiasthematics & antihyperlipedemic. It is helpful for Doctors prescribing multiple drugs & the pharmacist can use it for counseling of patients.

This was regarding Healthcare professionals; now coming to patients, in this era of consumer awareness, the field of health care is still an area of concern. The common person in India who takes medication may not always be informed about its correct use. Recognizing this, we publish various information leaflets on diseases and medicines to help the consumer understand the disease & medicines better. World Heart Day, 2012; Because each beat matters…Heart Disease awareness; Swine Flu, Bird flu & Chikungunya (during the epidemic); are some of the titles of Patient information leaflets published in English as well as Marathi, as required The aim is to promote rational use of medicines & build a trust among the patients. DIC aspires to reach maximum people & help them be abreast with all the required latest information. This will add to the quality of Healthcare provided & improve the patients’ quality of life.

With this, we appeal to all our readers, to send their queries to DIC so that we can help you know your medicines better. This will also bring out a better team effort, making best use of all the available resources & thus being outcome oriented (best healthcare for our society).

Ms. Kinnari Desai
Maharashtra State Pharmacy Council’s Drug Information Centre,
E.S.I.S. Hospital Compound, L.B.S. Marg, Mulund (W), Mumbai-400 080