Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Who provides patients with drug information?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 07 February 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:355
  1. T McMahon,
  2. C M Clark,
  3. G R Bailie


    One hundred and fifty four patients were interviewed to determine the type and source of information that they had received about drugs that had been prescribed for them. Most had been told how often to take the drugs (145 (94%)) and how much to take each time (143 (93%)), but few had been informed about side effects (49 (32%)) and fewer had received written information (22 (14%)). Pharmacists most commonly supplied information about how often to take the drugs (105 (68%)), how much to take each time (99 (64%)), and the best way to take it (109 (71%)). Doctors most often gave information about duration of treatment (116 (75)) and possible side effects (126 (82%)). Few patients requested specific information on their own initiative. More research is needed to determine how best to communicate drug information to patients.