Identification and physicians’ views of their commonly-used drug information sources in Singapore

  • Hui-Ling Lua
  • Grant Sklar
  • Yu KoEmail author
Research Article


Aim To examine physicians’ use and views of various sources for general drug information and to determine the kind of drug-related questions they receive. Method An online survey of general practitioners who were Singapore Medical Association members was conducted. The survey consisted of questions about the physicians’ demographics, the drug information source they used most often, their opinions on the information from that source, and the types of drug-related questions they received from patients. Results Among the 236 physicians who responded to the survey, 58.1% used reference texts most frequently; of these respondents, 80.3% used the Monthly Index of Medical Specialties. Only 4.2% most often go to pharmacists for drug information. Of the 75 (31.8%) respondents who chose online sources, about half used Google while the remainder used specific websites. Most respondents rated drug information from reference texts as somewhat comprehensive (71.5%) and usually reliable (81.8%). The choice of drug information sources was associated with physicians’ age, place of practice, access to the Internet, and clinical experience (P < 0.05). The types of drug-related questions that physicians most frequently received were with regards to adverse drug reactions (76.3%), drug costs (36.4%), and drug use during pregnancy or lactation (34.3%). Conclusion Most physicians in Singapore search for general drug information using reference texts and consider them to be comprehensive and reliable. Questions pertaining to adverse drug reactions were the drug-related questions physicians most frequently receive. It is important for physicians to have appropriate drug information references and learn methods with which to verify the credibility of drug information obtained from the Internet. Pharmacists can also work to improve their role as providers of drug information.


Attitude of health personnel Drug information General practitioners Singapore Survey 



We would like to thank all the physicians who responded to the survey and the Singapore Medical Association for distributing the survey.



Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Changi General HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyNational University HospitalSingaporeSingapore

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