Problem-Oriented Drug Information Services

  • F. Follath
Conference paper
Part of the Health Systems Research book series (HEALTH)


The discussion about the various aspects of drug safety is usually focused on newly introduced therapeutic agents. Data on potential benefits and risks are generated in preclinical studies, in clinical trials involving carefully selected patient groups, and, more recently, in postmarketing surveillance studies. Not surprisingly, the main role in this process is played by the pharmaceutical industry and the drug regulatory agencies. The third party, i.e., the prescribing physician, is often neglected. However, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) represent a common problem in everyday medical practice not only with new but also with older drugs having well-known side effect profiles. The type and frequency of ADRs certainly depend on the pharmacological and toxicological properties of chemical compounds, but they are also influenced to a large extent by the mode of the drug’s clinical use (Table 1). The wrong drug, a wrong dosage, an unsuitable drug combination, or errors of drug intake represent frequent causes of ADRs in ambulatory or hospitalized patients. Thus, the
Table 1

Types of adverse drug reactions

Unexpected ADR (mainly new drugs)


Organ toxicity


not predictable (?)






ADR due to suboptimal use (old and new drugs)


Wrong drug choice

predictable and often avoidable

Problem-Oriented Drug Information

wrong dosage


wrong drug combination


Erroneous drug intake

prescribing physicians probably influence the ultimate risk/benefit ratio of drug treatment and the overall incidence of drug-related problems to a greater extent than commonly appreciated.


Drug Information Wrong Dosage Therapeutic Problem Drug Regulatory Agency Select Patient Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Follath

There are no affiliations available

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