The Medicines Compendium 2007 edition contains nearly 3000 pages with information on 2,280 medicines licensed for use in the UK, presented in alphabetical order for ease of use. The information is provided by over 100 pharmaceutical companies and contains Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPCs) for UK Prescription Only Medicines (POM), Pharmacy (P), and Over-The-Counter (OTC) licensed medicines. SPCs provide essential information about individual medicines including licensed indications, dosages, contra indications and adverse drug reactions.
The Medicines Compendium is published on a ‘not for profit’ basis and a limited number of free copies are made available each year. A free copy will automatically be sent to the Medicines Information Officer at every NHS Trust. UK based NHS GP surgeries, NHS Nurse Prescribers, NHS hospital pharmacies and community pharmacies can request a free copy by following the Medicines Compendium link on Datapharm’s home page, www.medicines.org.uk, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or faxing 0870 010 2181. Free copies will be distributed on a first come first served basis. The Compendium is also available for purchase.²
Each year there are an estimated 20,000 changes to SPC information, many of which are included in the Medicines Compendium. The changes may include new medicines, new therapeutic indications for existing medicines, and new safety data. The volume of changes makes it essential for anyone who refers to this information resource to use the most up to date copy.
Changes to the SPC information are also available as soon as they are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) via the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) at www.medicines.org.uk. The Medicines Compendium is printed on an annual basis using this MHRA approved data submitted electronically by pharmaceutical companies to the eMC. This makes it the most authoritative source of medicines information in the UK.
Steve Mott, Executive Director of Datapharm Communications Ltd, commented: “Despite increasing use of the electronic Medicines Compendium, there is still a high demand for the printed version by healthcare professionals. We will continue to update and publish the book on annual basis for as long as this demand remains. With so many changes made to SPC information, it is critical to safe prescribing that those using the reference book have access to the most up to date version so we urge local organisations to apply for their free copy’.