Prescribing information sources for healthcare professionals

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It has been estimated that potential errors relating to prescribing and monitoring of medicines occur in 5% of items prescribed in general practice.1 In hospitals, a cross-sectional study across nine hospitals reported an error rate of 11%.2 An analysis of prescribing errors made by foundation trainee doctors in hospitals found that the two most common causes of prescribing error were a lack of knowledge and inappropriate extrapolation of knowledge about medicines.3 Therefore, it is important that prescribers have immediate access to high quality evidence-based information about medicines that is up to date, accurate and practical to ensure that drugs are prescribed safely and effectively. In this article, we highlight freely accessible resources that provide prescribing information about medicines and other sources of specialised information that may be needed when more detail is required.

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