Background: Given the rate at which new medications are introduced to the market, as well as the diversity of existing drugs, pharmacists frequently need to consult drug information (DI) sources. Currently, there is a lack of information about pharmacists’ needs for and sources of DI in Singapore.
Objective: To examine where practicing pharmacists in Singapore usually obtain DI and how useful and satisfactory the source is to pharmacists and to determine the kind of drug-related questions pharmacists usually receive.
Methods: An online survey was sent to registered hospital and community pharmacists who were members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The survey consisted of questions about the pharmacists’ demographics, what DI source they used most often, their satisfaction with that DI source, and how frequently they received various DI questions.
Results: A total of 156 pharmacists responded to the survey, for a response rate of 27.4%. The majority (82.7%) of the respondents chose reference texts as their most commonly used DI source; of these, 38.0% used the Drug Information Handbook. Reference texts were mostly rated very comprehensive (34.1%) or somewhat comprehensive (54.3%), whereas Web sites or search engines were mostly rated somewhat comprehensive (69.6%) or brief (21.7%). Most pharmacists believed that the information from reference texts could usually (51.2%) or always (48.8%) be trusted. Community pharmacists received questions on over-the-counter drugs and comparisons of drug efficacy more frequently than did hospital pharmacists (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively), whereas hospital pharmacists more frequently received questions on pharmacokinetics (p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Most pharmacists in Singapore use reference texts when searching for general DI, and they find these texts more comprehensive and trustworthy than other available sources. The results also show that pharmacists in different settings receive different types of DI questions and have adequate resources to answer general DI questions.