• The learning objectives for this module are:

    • Differentiate between types of resources available to assist in answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Describe general electronic and hard copy resources available to assist in answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Explain the function and use of bibliographic databases, including Medline® and Embase®
    • Outline search strategies and functionalities in bibliographic databases.
    • Identify drug information databases to assist in answering medicines information enquiries.
    • Identify factors to consider in assessing the quality of internet resources available for accessing medicines information.
    • Outline other resources available to assist in answering medicines information enquiries.

    Accreditation number for this module: S2019/91

    This activity has been accredited for 1.5 hours of Group-1 CPD (or 1.5 CPD credits), suitable for inclusion in an individual pharmacist’s CPD plan.


    The program addresses pharmacist competency standards, including:


    Standard 5.3.1 Identify information needs and resource requirements

    Standard 5.3.2 Retrieve relevant information/evidence in a timely manner

    Standard 5.3.3 Apply research evidence into practice

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

  • There will be times when you may need to contact other information providers to help you answer an enquiry:

    Poisons Information Centre (PH: 13 11 26)

    This is an emergency telephone service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that provides advice about exposure to poisons, medicines, plants, bites and stings.

    University or hospital libraries

    Most hospitals have a library that is a first point of call for information. Depending on your place of work, it may be possible to access a university library.

    Pharmaceutical companies  

    Medical information departments are most helpful for enquiries about drug storage conditions, drug supply, excipients and some administration enquiries.  They can be helpful for enquiries about very new drugs when there may not be a great deal of information in the medical literature. Before you contact a medical information department, always ensure that you’ve checked all your resources first, especially the current Australian product information.


    Clinical pharmacists, specialist departments and other medicines information pharmacists are a valuable resource. Specialty Practice networks such as those facilitated by SHPA are a great way to access peer knowledge and advice. Contacts at universities may also be helpful for specialised areas and research.

    Internet resourcesSearch strategies