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Online Drug Information Resources (June 2015): Drugs@FDA

By Kristy Steigerwalt


Updated daily, this website ( offers accurate and timely information about prescriptions, biologics, and over-the-counter medications. The site follows US Health and Human Services quality peer-review guidelines. Its information policy is clearly and thoroughly stated online; the goal is “a level of quality corresponding to the nature and timeliness of the information.” A glossary, instructions for use, FAQ section, demo, and prominently displayed “Start Over” button help with navigation. The site also contains a handy spell-check feature. Linked from this site, and beneficial to practitioners, is the FDA’s Orange Book on therapeutic equivalents. One drawback is that brand and generic drugs are not consistently listed as therapeutic equivalents, resulting in some loss of accuracy and completeness. Another drawback is the lack of an advanced search interface. Data include active ingredients, dosage forms, route of administration, manufacturer, FDA action date, and approval type. Unique features include links to old FDA labels; reviews; and information on discontinued medications, medical devices, veterinary medications, drug recalls, vaccines, cosmetics, and tobacco products. Contact information and print/e-mail options are prominently displayed. The last updates are clearly listed on individual pages. References are provided for topic-related information; however, specific authorship is not always evident. Some Spanish-language versions of materials are offered. The site contains links to other reputable sites such as that of the National Institutes of Health. Overall, this resource offers, for a large range of pharmaceutical products, information that is objective, current (though selectively sparse), and easy to find.


Recommended as a source for reputable drug information, including some historical material, for practitioners, health care students, undergraduate/graduate students, faculty, and laypersons.