• The learning objectives for this module are:

    • Outline the steps involved in processing a medicines information enquiry.
    • Identify core questions to ask to assist in answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Outline core components of answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Describe the importance and elements of plain language in answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Outline key components of written and telephone responses to medicines information enquiries.

    Accreditation number for this module: S2019/90

    This activity has been accredited for 1 hour of Group-1 CPD (or 1 CPD credit), suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan.


    The program addresses pharmacist competency standards, including:


    Standard 2.2.3 Promote effective interprofessional practice

    Standard 2.3.1 Use appropriate communication skills

    (National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia, 2016)

  • Responses to medicines information enquiries are most commonly delivered by phone or email. Regardless of the method of delivery it is important to ensure that the response:

    • is given in clear and concise language.
    • is delivered within the required timeframe. An urgent enquiry may require an initial response based on readily available information with further detail provided later if required.
    • answers the question that was asked. This involves evaluating the available information and applying it to the clinical situation so that your answer is helpful to the enquirer.
    • is tailored to the need of the enquirer. The level of detail and the formality of the response will depend on the nature of the enquiry as well as the position of the enquirer and possibly your working relationship with them. For example, an enquiry from a head of department about a potential change to a procedure may require a formal meeting with a detailed written response and references, whereas a verbal response may be sufficient for an enquiry from a nurse about IV compatibility.
    • includes an explanation of any limits on your answer (e.g. when no information is available or it is outside your area of expertise).

    Also consider what further questions your response may invite and be prepared to answer those (e.g. an enquiry about the adverse effects of a medicine may also require information about alternative treatment options).

    It may be necessary to check your response with another pharmacist before responding to the enquirer. Make sure you are familiar with the policies and procedures of your workplace.

    DocumentationWritten responses