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Safer drug therapy
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Safer drug therapy

With the increasing number of pharmaceuticals available today and the potential for serious adverse drug reactions on the rise, safety concerns are growing. Many problems could be avoided if physicians were able to make more informed choices.

Commentators often like to say that knowledge is expanding exponentially and this is particularly true of medicine. While positive in terms of expanding our understanding of disease and how best to treat patients, the downside is that it is becoming increasingly difficult for physicians to be sure that they are taking the best decisions for those in their care.

Simply staying abreast of the information on the latest drugs and how they interact with each other and existing protocols is a mammoth task in itself. To help physicians cope with this challenge, medbase has developed an innovative range of easily accessible databases providing concise decision-making support for all major areas of drug therapy.

The content of medbase’s databases is generated by experts in drug therapy, primarily doctors specialised in clinical pharmacology, and maintained and developed by an international team, including personnel from the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. All its databases are updated at least four times a year and localised content is prioritised to ensure that the range of drugs used in different countries is covered appropriately.

medbase’s databases provide physicians with a very valuable tool for detecting and avoiding adverse drug reactions.

A family of databases

Based on SQL technology, medbase’s solutions can be easily integrated into a portal, PDA, or any other mobile environment, and add value to existing patient record or electronic prescription systems by providing rapid access to the latest reliable data, as well as real-time warnings on potential medical hazards.

Clinical recommendations are classified into four different categories according to the GRADE system, and explanatory texts are kept short and concise, making the clinical message clearer and easier to comprehend than those provided by traditional encyclopaedia-style databases.

The best-known of medbase’s products, the SFINX drug interaction database, contains information on more than 16,000 drug interactions, and the number is growing all the time, making it one of the most comprehensive databases of this type available. In addition to warning physicians of potential problems, SFINX provides expert recommendations on circumventing or limiting problems, by suggesting an alternative choice of drug, for example. SFINX can be supplemented with an add-on module known as PHARAO, which provides an analysis of the nine most common adverse drug reactions. The SFINX-PHARAO combination provides a unique and very valuable tool for detecting and avoiding adverse drug reactions.

The medbase family includes five more specific databases: renbase, heparbase, gravbase, lactbase, and herbalbase.

renbase is designed to provide concise information on the safety and dosage modifications of drugs for patients with renal failure, together with information on vitamins and micronutrients. Launched in 2013, heparbase provides the same type of support for treatment given to patients suffering from liver failure; while gravbase and lactbase focus on the safe use of drugs during pregnancy and lactation. Herbalbase, for its part, provides evidence- based analysis of the efficacy and safety of natural medicines to help health care professionals answer the growing number of questions patients have related to these types of products.

> Kari Laine
(Published in HighTech Finland 2013)